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Full text of "Essays moral, economical, and political"

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ESSAYS, 

MORAL, ECONOMICAL, 

AND 

POLITICAL. 



:m>, a . 



ESSAYS 

MORAL, ECONOMICAL, 



POLITICAL. 

Entered 

1'^ J 
FRJNWtS BACON, 

BARON OF VERULAM, 

AND 

VISCOUNT ST. ALBANS. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR T.PAYNE, MEWS GATE, 



1801. 






^>v 



S. HAMILTON, PRINTFR, FALCON-COURT. 



West. Bes. *>.» 



(^ 



PREFACE. 



The illustrious Author of these Essays is so 
generally known as a man and a writer, that 
any particular account of him on the present 
occasion would be superfluous. To dwell, 
indeed, on the incidents of my Lord Bacon's 
life would be an unpleasant and mortifying 
task : for ever must it be deplored by the lover 
of literature and his species, that the possessor 
of this extraordinary intellect should have 
been exposed to the dangers of a situation 
to which his firmness was unequal ; and, with- 
drawn from the retirement of his study, where 
he was the first of men, should have been 
thrown into the tumult of business, where he 
discovered himself to be among the last. The 
superiority, it is true, of his talents rendered 
him every where eminent ; and when we see 
him acting at court, in the senate, at the bar, 



11 

or on the bench, we behold an engine of 
mighty force, sufficient, as it would appear, to 
move the world : but when we carry our re- 
search into his bosom, we find nothing there but 
the ebullition and froth of some common or cor- 
rupt passions ; and we are struck with the con- 
trast between the littleness within, and the exhi- 
bition of energy without. But peace be to the 
failings of this wonderful man ! they who alone 
were affected by them, his contemporaries and 
himself, have long since passed to their account; 
and existing no more as the statesman or the 
judge, he survives to us only in his works as the 
father of experimental physics, and a great lu- 
minary of science. 

In his literary character he must always 
be contemplated with astonishment; and we 
cannot sufficiently wonder at the riches or 
the powers of his mind; at that penetration 
which no depth could elude ; that comprehen- 
sion for which no object was too large; that 
vigour which no labour could exhaust; that 
memory which no pressure of acquisitions 
could subdue. By his two great works, " On 
" the Advancement of Learning," and " The 
" New Organ of the Sciences/' written amid 



Ill 

the distraction of business and of cares, sufficient 
of themselves to have occupied the whole, of any 
other mind, did this mighty genius first break 
the shackles of that scholastic philosophy which 
had long crushed the human intellect ; and, di- 
verting the attention from words to things, from 
theory to experiment, demonstrate the road to 
that height of science on which the moderns 
are now seated, and which the ancients were 
unable to reach. 

But these grand displays of his genius and 
knowledge are now chiefly regarded as they 
present to the curious an illustrious evidence 
of the powers of the human mind. Having 
awakened and directed the exertions of Eu- 
rope, the usefulness of these writings has in a 
great degree been superseded by the labours 
of the subsequent adventurers in science; who, 
pursuing the track marked out for them by 
their great master, have found it opening into 
a region of clear and steady light. Of the 
ether works of this great man, which were 
objects of admiration to his own times, the 
following Essays are perhaps the only ones 
which retain much of their pristine popularity. 
His law treatises have always been restricted by 



iv 

their subject within the line of a professional 
circle : of his state papers and speeches the 
power has expired with the interest of those 
events to which they were attached ; and his 
History of Henry the Seventh, blemished as it is 
with something more than those defects of style 
which, from the example and patronage, of a 
pedant king, then began to infect the purity of 
our composition, is in these days consulted only 
by the few. 

But these Essays, written at a period of 
better taste, and on subjects of immediate 
importance to the conduct of common life, 
" such as come home to men's business and 
" bosoms/' are still read with pleasure, and 
continue to possess, in the present age, nearly 
as much estimation as they did in that which 
witnessed their first publication. From the 
circumstance of their having engaged his at- 
tention at different and remote intervals of his 
life, they appear to have shared a more than 
common portion of their great author's regard ; 
and they are evidently composed in his happiest 
manner, and with the full stretch of his powers. 
In them we are presented with all the wisdom 
which the deepest erudition could recover from 



the gulph of buried ages ; and with all that also 
which the most sagacious and accurate obser- 
vation could select from the spectacle of the 
passing scene : in them we behold imagination 
and knowledge equally successful in their ex- 
ertions; this as the contributor of truths, and 
that as opening her affluent wardrobe for their 
dress ; one like the earth throwing out of her 
bosom the organized forms of matter, and the 
other like the sun arraying them in an endless 
variety of hues. 

Of the Essay, that most agreeable and 
perhaps most useful vehicle of instruction, my 
Lord Bacon must be considered, at least in our 
own country, as the inventor; and to the suc- 
cess of his attempt may be ascribed that nu- 
merous race of writers, to whose short and 
entertaining lessons the public mind may be re- 
garded as principally indebted for its present 
cultivation and refinement. 

Thus strongly recommended by their in- 
trinsic worth, these Essays possess also an addi- 
tional and accidental value, from the circum- 
stance of their constituting all which, in some 
sense, remains of their admirable author. His 
other works, as it has been already remarked, 



VI 

are in fact extinct to the many, and now ge- 
nerally known only as a mighty name : and the 
writer of these shorter compositions, the great 
Lord Bacon, may not improperly be considered 
as shrunk, like the ashes of an Alexander in a 
golden urn, within the limits of this little but 
sterling volume. 



ESSAYS OR COUNSELS, 

CIVIL AND MORAL. 



TO MR. ANTHONY BACON, 

My dear Brother. 

Loving and beloved brother, I do now like 
some that have an orchard ill neighboured, 
that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to pre- 
vent stealing. These fragments of my con- 
ceits were going to print : to labour the stay 
of them had been troublesome, and subject to 
interpretation; to let them pass had been to 
adventure the wrong they might receive by 
untrue copies, or by some garnishment which 
it might please any that should set them forth 
to bestow upon them ; therefore I held it best 
discretion to publish them myself, as they 
passed long ago from my pen, without any 
further disgrace than the weakness of the 
author; and as I did ever hold, there might 
be as great a vanity in retiring and withdraw- 
ing men's conceits, (except they be of some 



via 

nature,) from the world, as in obtruding them: 
so in these particulars I have played myself the 
inquisitor, and find nothing to my understand- 
ing in them contrary or infectious to the state 
of religion or manners, but rather, as I sup- 
pose, medicinable : only I disliked now to put 
them out, because they will be like the late 
new halfpence, which though the silver were 
good, yet the pieces were small ; but since 
they would not stay with their master but 
would needs travel abroad, I have preferred 
ihem to you "that are next myself; dedicating 
them, such as they are, to our love, in the 
depth whereof, I assure you, I sometimes 
wish your infirmities translated upon myself, 
that her majesty might have the service of so 
active and able a mind ; and I might be with 
excuse confined to these contemplations and 
studies, for which I am fittest : so commend I 
you to the preservation of the Divine Majesty. 

Your entire loving brother, 

Fran. Bacon. 

From my chamber at Gray's Inn, 
this 30th of January 1597. 



IX 

To my loving Brother, 
SIR JOHN CONSTABLE, KT. 

My last Essays I dedicated to my dear brother, 
Mr. Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Look- 
ing amongst my papers this vacation, I found 
others o£ the same nature ; which if I myself 
shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the world 
will not, by the often printing of the former. 
Missing my brother, I found you next ; in 
respect of bond both of near alliance, and of 
straight friendship and society, and particularly 
of communication in studies ; wherein I must 
acknowledge myself beholding to you : for as 
my business found rest in my contemplations, 
so my contemplations ever found rest in your 
loving conference and judgment : so wishing 
you all good, I remain 

Your loving brother and friend, 

l6l2. Fka. Bacon. 



X 



TO THE 

Right Honourable my tery good Lord 
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, 

His Grace Lord High Admiral of England. 

Excellent Lord, 

Solomon says, " A good name is as a precious 
" ointment ;" and I assure myself such will your 
Grace's name be with posterity : for your for- 
tune and merit both have been eminent ; and 
you have planted things that are like to last. I 
do now publish my Essays ; which, of all my 
other works, have been most current : for that, 
as it seems, they come home to men's business 
and bosoms. I have enlarged them both in 
number and weight ; so that they are indeed 
a new work : I thought it therefore agreeable 
to my affection and obligation to your Grace, 
to prefix your name before them both in Eng- 
lish and Latin: for I do conceive, that the 
Latin volume of them, being in the universal 
language, may last as long as books last. 
My Instauration I dedicated to the King ; my 



XI 

History of Henry the Seventh, which I have 
now translated into Latin, and my portions of 
Natural History, to the Prince ; and these I de- 
dicate to your Grace, being of the best fruits, 
that, by the good increase which God gives to 
my pen and labours, I could yield. God lead 
your Grace by the hand. 

Your Grace's most obliged 

And faithful servant, 

Fr. St. Alban. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Of Truth 1 

Death 5 

Unity in Religion 8 

Revenge 16 

Adversity 18 

Simulation and Dissimulation 20 

Parents and Children 25 

Marriage and Single Life 28 

Envy 31 

Love 40 

Great Place 43 

Boldness 49 

Goodness, and Goodness of Nature 52 

A King 56 

Nobility - 60 

Seditions and Troubles 63 

Atheism - 75 

Superstition 79 

Travel 82 

Empire 86 

Counsel • • 94 

Delays 102 

Cunning 104 

Wisdom for a Man's Self 110 

Innovations • • 1 13 

Dispatch 115 

Seeming Wise 118 

Friendship • 120 

Expense * . 133 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Of The True Greatness of Kingdoms and 

Estates . . 135 

Regimen of Health 151 

Suspicion . 154 

Discourse 156 

Plantations 159 

Riches .. . 164- 

Prophecies 170 

Ambition 175 

Masques and Triumphs 178 

Nature in Men 181 

Custom and Education 184 

Fortune 187 

Usury 190 

Youth and Age 196 

Beauty 199 

Deformity 201 

Building 204 

Gardens 211 

Negociating . . 222 

Followers and Friends . . . 225 

" Suitors 227 

Studies 231 

Faction . . . . , 233 

Ceremonies and Respects 236 

Praise . 239 

Vain Glory 242 

Honour and Reputation . 245 

Judicature 248 

Anger 255 

Vicissitude of Things 258 

A Fragment of an Essay on Fame 268 



S. Hamilton, Printer, Falcon Court, Fleet Street, London. 



ESSAYS 

CIVIL AND MORAL. 



OF TRUTH. 

What is truth ? said jesting Pilate, and would 
not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that 
delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to 
fix a belief, affecting free-will in thinking, as 
well as in acting; and, though the sects of 
philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there 
remain certain discoursing wits which are of 
the same veins, though there be not so much 
blood in them as was in those of the ancients. 
But it is not only the difficulty and labour 
which men take in finding out of truth ; nor 
again, that, when it is found, it imposeth upon 
men's thoughts that doth bring lies in favour ; 

B 



but a natural, though corrupt love of the lie 
itself. One of the later school of the Grecians 
examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think 
what should be in it, that men should love lies, 
where neither they make for pleasure, as with 
poets ; nor for advantage, as with the merchant ; 
but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell : this 
same truth is a naked and open daylight, that 
doth not shew the masques, and mummeries, 
and triumphs of the world half so stately and 
daintily as candlelights. Truth may perhaps 
come to the price of a pearl, that sheweth best 
by day ; but it will not rise to the price of a dia- 
mond or carbuncle, that sheweth best in varied 
lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. 
Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken 
out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering 
hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one 
would, and the like, but it would leave the 
minds of a number of men poor shrunken 
things, full of melancholy and indisposition, 
and unpleasing to themselves ? One of the 
fathers, in great severity, called poesy " vinum 
" daemonum," because it filleth the imagina- 
tion, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. 
But it is not the lie that passeth through the 



mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth 
in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of 
before. But howsoever these things are thus" 
in men's depraved judgments and affections* 
yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teach- 
eth that the inquiry of truth, which is the 
love-making, or wooing of it ; the knowledge 
of truth, which is the presence of it ; and the 
belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is 
the sovereign good of human nature. The 
first creature of God, in the works of the days, 
was the light of the sense; the last was the 
light of reason ; and his Sabbath work, ever 
since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First 
he breathed light upon the face of the matter, 
or chaos ; then he breathed light into the face 
of man ; and still he breatheth and inspireth 
light into the face of his chosen. The poet 
that beautified the sect, that was otherwise 
inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well, 
" It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to 
" see ships tost upon the sea: a pleasure to stand 
" in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, 
" and the adventures thereof below : but no 
" pleasure is comparable to the standing upon 
" the vantage ground of truth (a hill not to be 



" commanded, and where the air is always clear 
" and serene), and to see the errors and wan- 
" derings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale 
" below :" so always that this prospect be with 
pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, 
it is heaven upon earth to have a man's mind 
move in charity, rest in providence, and turn 
upon the poles of truth. 

To pass from theological and philosophical 
truth to the truth of civil business, it will be 
acknowledged, even by those that practise it 
not, that clear and round dealing is the honour 
of man's nature, and that mixture of falsehood 
is like allay in coin of gold and silver, which 
may make the metal work the better, but it 
embaseth it : for these winding and crooked 
courses are the goings of the serpent ; which 
goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the 
feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a 
man with shame as to be found false and per- 
fidious : and therefore Montaigne saith pret- 
tily, when he inquired the reason why the 
word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and 
such an odious charge, "If it be well weigh - 
" ed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as 
H to say that he is brave towards God, and a 



11 coward towards men: for a lie faces God, and 
" shrinks from man." Surely the wickedness 
of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly 
be so highly expressed as in that it shall be 
the last peal to call the judgments of God upon 
the generations of men : it being foretold, that 
when " Christ cometh," he shall not " find 
faith upon earth." 



OF DEATH. 

Men fear death as children fear to go in the 
dark ; and as that natural fear in children is 
increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly 
the contemplation of death, as the wages of 
sin and passage to another world, is holy and 
religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due 
unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious medi- 
tations there is sometimes mixture of vanity 
and of superstition. You shall read in some of 
the friars' books of mortification, that a ■man- 
should think with himself what the pain is, if 
he have but his finger's end pressed, or tor- 
tured, and thereby imagine what the pains, of 
death are when the whole body is corrupted 



and dissolved ; when many times death passeth 
with less pain than the torture of a limb ; for 
the most vital parts are not the quickest of 
sense : and by him that spake only as a phi- 
losopher and natural man, it was well said, 
" Pompa mortis magis terret quam mors ipsa." 
Groans, and convulsions, and a discoloured 
face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and 
obsequies, and the like, shew death terrible. 
It is worthy the observing, that there is no 
passion in the mind of man so weak, but it 
mates and masters the fear of death ; and there- 
fore death is no such terrible enemy when a 
man hath so many attendants about him that 
can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs 
over death ; love slights it; honour aspireth to 
it; grief flieth to it; fear pre-occupieth it; 
nay, we read, after Otho the emperor had slain 
himself, pity (which is the tenderest of affec- 
tions) provoked many to die out of mere com- 
passion to their sovereign, and as the truest 
sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds, niceness 
and satiety ; " Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; 
" mori velle, non tantum fortis, aut miser, sed 
" etiam fastidiosus potest." A man would die, 
though he were neither valiant nor miserable, 



only upon a weariness to do the same thing so 
oft over and over. It is no less worthy to ob- 
serve how little alteration in good spirits the 
approaches of death make ; for they appear to 
be the same men till the last instant. Augustus 
Csesar died in a compliment : " Li via, conjugii 
" nostri memor, vive et vale :" Tiberius in dissi- 
mulation, as Tacitus saith of him, "JamTi- 
" berium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, dese- 
u rebant:" Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the 
stool, " Ut puto Deus iio :" Galba with a sen- 
tence, " Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani," 
holding forth his neck : Septimius Severus in 
dispatch, " Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum/' 
and the like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed 
too much cost upon death, and by their great 
preparations made it appear more fearful. Bet- 
ter, saith he, " qui flnem vitae extremum inter 
** munera ponat naturae/' It is as natural to die 
as to be born ; and to a little infant, perhaps, 
the one is as painful as the other. He that 
dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is 
wounded in hot blood ; who, for the time, 
scarce feels the hurt ; and therefore a mind fixed 
and bent upon somewhat that is good doth 
avert the dolours of death : but, above all, be- 



8 



lieve it, the sweetest canticle is, " Nunc dimit- 
" tis/' when a man hath obtained worthy ends 
and expectations. Death hath this also, that it 
openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguish- 
ed! envy, " Extinctus amabitur idem." 



OF UNITY IN RELIGION, 

Religion being the chief band of human so- 
ciety, it is a happy thing when itself is well 
contained within the true band of unity. The 
quarrels and divisions about religion were evils 
unknown to the heathen. The reason was, be- 
cause the religion of the heathen consisted ra- 
ther in rites and ceremonies than in any con- 
stant belief: for you may imagine what kind 
of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors and 
fathers of their church were the poets. But 
the true God hath this attribute, that he is a 
jealous God ; and therefore his worship and 
religion will endure no mixture, nor partner. 
We shall therefore speak a few words concern- 
ing the unity of the church ; what are the 
fruits thereof ; what the bounds ; and what the 
means. 



The fruits of unity (next unto the well- 
pleasing of God, which is all in all) are two; 
the one towards those that are without the 
church ; the other towards those that are 
within. For the former, it is certain, that 
heresies and schisms are of all others the great- 
est scandals ; yea more than corruption of man- 
ners : for as in the natural body a wound or 
solution of continuity is worse than a corrupt 
humour, so in the spiritual: so that nothing 
doth so much keep men out of the church, and 
drive men out of the church, as breach of 
unity; and, therefore, whensoever it comethto 
that pass that one saith, "ecce in deserto," an- 
other saith, " ecce in penetralibus ;" that is, 
when some men seek Christ in the conventicles 
of heretics, and others in an outward face of a 
church, that voice had need continually to 
sound in men's ears, "nolite exire," "go not 
out." The doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety 
of whose vocation drew him to have a special 
care of those without) saith, "If an heathen 
" come in, and hear you speak with several 
"tongues, will he not say that you are mad? 2 ' 
and, certainly, it is little better: when atheists 
and profane persons do hear of so many dis- 



10 

cordant and contrary opinions in religion, it 
doth avert them from the church, and maketh 
them "to sit down in the chair of the scorners." 
It is but a light thing to be vouched in so 
serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the 
deformity. There is a master of scoffing that, 
in his catalogue of books of a feigned library, 
sets down this title of a book, "The morris- 
" dance of heretics:" for, indeed, every sect of 
them hath a diverse posture or cringe by them- 
selves, which cannot but move derision in world- 
lings and depraved politics, who are apt to con- 
temn holy things. 

As for the fruit towards those that are 
within, it is peace, which containeth infinite 
blessings : it establisheth faith ; it kindleth cha- 
rity : the outward peace of the church distilleth 
into peace of conscience, and it turneth the 
labours of writing and reading of controversies 
into treaties of mortification and devotion. 

Concerning the bonds of unity, the true 
placing of them importeth exceedingly. There 
appear to be two extremes : for to certain 
zealots all speech of pacification is odious. 
46 Is it peace, Jehu ?" " What hast thou to do 
" with peace ? turn thee behind me." Peace is 



11 

not the matter, but following and party. Con- 
trariwise, certain Laodiceans and lukewarm 
persons think they may accommodate points 
qf religion by middle ways, and taking part of 
both, and witty reconcilements, as if they 
would make an arbitrament between God and 
man. Both these extremes are to be avoided ; 
which will be done if the league of Christians, 
penned by our Saviour himself, were in the two 
cross clauses thereof soundly and plainly ex- 
pounded: " He that is not with us is against 
"us;" and again, " He that is not against us 
"is with us;" that is, if the points fundamen- 
tal, and of substance in religion, were truly 
discerned and distinguished from points not 
merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good 
intention. This is a thing may seem to many a 
matter trivial, and done already; but if it were 
done less partially, it would be embraced more 
generally. 

Of this I may give only this advice, ac- 
cording to my small model. Men ought to 
take heed of rending God's church by two 
Junds of controversies ; the one is, when the 
matter of the point controverted is too small 
and light, not worth the heat and strife about 



12 

it, kindled only by contradiction; for, as it is 
noted by one of the fathers, Christ's coat in^ 
deed had no seam, but the church's vesture 
was of divers colours ; whereupon he saith, 
*1 in veste varietas sit, scissura non sit/' they 
be two things, unity and uniformity : the other 
is when the matter of the point controverted 
is great, but it is driven to an over-great sub- 
til ty and obscurity, so that it become th a thing 
rather ingenious than substantial. A man that 
is of judgment and understanding shall some- 
times hear ignorant men differ, and know well 
within himself that those which so differ mean 
one thing, and yet they themselves would never 
agree: and if it come so to pass in that di- 
stance of judgment which is between man and 
man, shall we not think that God above, that 
knows the heart, doth not discern that frail 
men, in some of their contradictions, intend 
the same thing, and accepteth of both? The 
nature of such controversies is excellently ex- 
pressed by St. Paul in the warning and precept 
that he giveth concerning the same, " devita 
" profanes vocum novitates, et oppositiones 
" falsi nominis sciential." Men create oppo- 
sitions which are not, and put them into new, 



13 

terms so fixed, as whereas the meaning ought 
to govern the term, the term in effect govern- 
eth the meaning. There be also two false 
peaces, or unities ; the one, when the peace is 
grounded but upon an implicit ignorance ; for 
all colours will agree in the dark : the other, 
when it is pieced up upon a direct admission of 
contraries in fundamental points : for truth 
and falsehood in such things are like the iron 
and clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image ; 
they may cleave, but they will not incorpo- 
rate. 

Concerning the means of procuring unity, 
men must beware that, in the procuring or 
muniting of religious unity, they do not dis- 
solve and deface the laws of charity and of 
human society. There be two swords amongst 
Christians, the spiritual and temporal ; and both 
have their due office and place in the mainte- 
nance of religion : but we may not take up the 
third sword, which is Mahomet's sword, or like 
unto it ; that is, to propagate religion by wars, 
or by sanguinary persecutions to force con- 
sciences ; except it be in cases of overt scandal, 
blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against 
the state ; much less to nourish seditions ; t® 



14- 

authorise conspiracies and rebellions ; to put 
the sword into the people's hands, and the like, 
tending to the subversion of all government, 
which is the ordinance of God : for this is but 
to dash the first table against the second ; and 
so to consider men as Christians, as we forget 
that they are men. Lucretius the poet, when 
he beheld the act of Agamemnon, that could 
endure the sacrificing of his own daughter, ex- 
claimed, 

" Tantnm religio potuit fuadere malorum!" 

What would he have said if he had known 
of the massacre in France, or the powder trea- 
son of England ? He would have been seven 
times more epicure and atheist than he was: 
for as the temporal sword is to be drawn with 
great circumspection in cases of religion, so it 
is a thing monstrous to put it into the hands 
of the common people ; let that be left unto 
the anabaptists, and other furies. It was 
great blasphemy when the devil said, " I will 
"ascend and be like the Highest;" but it is 
greater blasphemy to personate God, and bring 
him in saying, " I will descend, and be like the 
"prince of darkness:" and what is it better 



15 

to make the cause of religion to descend to 
the cruel and execrable actions of murdering 
princes, butchery of people, and subversion of 
states and governments ? Surely this is to bring 
down the Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of 
a dove, in the shape of a vulture or raven ; and 
to set out of the bark of a Christian church a 
flag of a bark of pirates and assassins : therefore 
it is most necessary that the church by doctrine 
and decree; princes by their sword; and all 
learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their 
mercury rod do damn, and send to hell for ever 
those facts and opinions tending to the support 
of the same, as hath been already in good part 
done. Surely in councils concerning religion, 
that council of the Apostle would be prefixed, 
" Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei:" and it 
was a notable observation of a wise father, and 
no less ingenuously confessed, that those which 
held and persuaded pressure of consciences were 
commonly interested therein themselves for their 
own ends. 



16 



OF REVENGE. 

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the 
more man's nature runs to, the more ought law 
to weed it out : for as for the first wrong, it 
doth but offend the law, but the revenge of 
that wrong putteth the law out of office. Cer- 
tainly in taking revenge a man is but even 
with his enemy ; but in passing it over he is 
superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon: 
and Solomon, I am sure, saith, " It is the 
" glory of a man to pass by an offence/' That 
which is past is gone and irrevocable, and wise 
men have enough to do with things present 
and to come ; therefore they do but trifle with 
themselves that labour in past matters. There 
is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake, 
but thereby to purchase himself profit, or plea- 
sure, or honour, or the like; therefore why 
should I be angry with a man for loving him- 
self better than me? And if any man should 
do wrong merely out of ill nature, why, yet 
it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick 
and scratch because they can do no other. The 
most tolerable sort of revenge is for those 



17 

wrongs which there is no law to remedy : but, 
then, let a man take heed the revenge be such 
as there is no law to punish, else a man's 
enemy is still beforehand, and it is two for 
one. Some when they take revenge are de- 
sirous the party should know when it cometh : 
this is the more generous ; for the delight 
seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt 
as in making the party repent : but base and 
crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in 
the dark. Cosmus, duke of Florence, had a 
desperate saying against perfidious or neglect- 
ing friends, as if those wrongs were unpardon- 
able. " You shall read," saith he, " that we are 
" commanded to forgive our enemies, but you 
M never read that we are commanded to forgive 
" our friends/* But yet the spirit of Job was in 
a better tune : " Shall we," saith he, " take good 
" at God's hands, and not be content to take 
" evil also?" and so of friends in a proportion. 
This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge 
keep* his own wounds green, which otherwise 
would heal and do well. Public revenges are 
for the most part fortunate ; as that for the 
death of Caesar ; for the death of Pertinax ; for 
the death of Henry the Third of France ; and 
c 



18 

many more : but in private revenges it is not so ; 
nay rather, vindicative persons live the life of 
witches ; who, as they are mischievous, so end 
they unfortunate. 



OF ADVERSITY. 

It was an high speech of Seneca, (after the 
manner of the Stoics), that the good things 
which belong to prosperity are to be wished, 
but the good things that belong to adversity 
are to be admired : " Bona rerum secundarum 
" optabilia, adversarum mirabilia." Certainly 
if miracles be the command over nature, they 
appear most in adversity. It is yet a higher 
speech of his than the other, (much too high 
for a heathen), " It is true greatness to have in 
" one the frailty of a man, and the security of 
" a God:" " Vere magnum habere fragilitatem 
" hominis, securitatem Dei." This would have 
done better in poesy, where transcendencies 
are more allowed; and the poets, indeed, have 
been busy with it : for it is in effect the thing 
which is figured in that strange fiction of the 
ancient poets, which seemeth not to be with- 



19 

out mystery, nay, and to have some approach 
to the state of a Christian, " that Hercules, 
" when he went to unbind Prometheus, (by 
" whom human nature is represented), sailed 
" the length of the great ocean in an earthen 
" pot or pitcher, lively describing Christian re- 
" solution, that saileth in the frail bark of the 
" flesh through the waves of the world." But 
to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is 
temperance ; the virtue of adversity is forti- 
tude, which in morals is the more heroical 
virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old 
Testament; adversity is the blessing of the 
New, which carrieth the greater benediction 
and the clearer revelation of God's favour. 
Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen 
to David's harp, you shall hear as many herse- 
like airs as carols ; and the pencil of the Holy 
Ghost hath laboured more in describing the 
afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solo- 
mon. Prosperity is not without many fears 
and distastes; and adversity is not without 
comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks 
and embroideries it is more pleasing to have 
a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, 
than to have a dark and melancholy work upon 



20 

a lightsome ground : judge therefore of the 
pleasure of the heart by. the pleasure of the eye. 
Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most 
fragrant when they are incensed or crushed ; for 
prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity 
doth best discover virtue. 



OF SIMULATION AND DISSIMU- 
LATION. 

Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy or 
wisdom ; for it asketh a strong wit and a strong 
heart to know when to tell truth, and to do it : 
therefore it is the weaker sort of politicians that 
are the great dissemblers. 

Tacitus saith, " Livia sorted well with the 
" arts of her husband, and dissimulation of her 
"son; attributing arts or policy to Augustus, 
" and dissimulation to Tiberius :" and again, 
when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take 
arms against Vitellius, he saith, " We rise not 
" against the piercing judgment of Augustus, 
" nor the extreme caution or closeness of Ti- 
" berius :" these properties of arts or policy* 



21 



and dissimulation or closeness, are indeed habits 
and faculties several, and to be distinguished; 
for if a man have that penetration of judgment 
as he can discern what things are to be laid 
open, and what to be secreted, and what to be 
shewed at half lights, and to whom and when, 
(which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, 
as Tacitus well calleth them), to him a habit 
of dissimulation is a hinderance and a poorness. 
But if a man cannot obtain to that judgment, 
then it is left to him generally to be close and 
a dissembler ; for where a man cannot choose 
or vary in particulars, there it is good to take 
the safest and wariest way in general, like 
the going softly by one that cannot well see. 
Certainly the ablest men that ever were have 
had all an openness and frankness of dealing, 
and a name of certainty and veracity : but 
then they were like horses well managed, for 
they could tell passing well when to stop or 
turn; and at such times wlien they thought 
the case indeed required dissimulation, if then 
they used it, it came to pass, that the former 
opinion, spread abroad, of their good faith and 
clearness of dealing made them almost invi- 
sible. 



22 

There be. three degrees of this hiding and 
veiling of a man's self; the first, closeness, re- 
servation, and secrecy, when a man leaveth 
himself without observation, or without hold to 
be taken, what he is; the second, dissimulation 
in the negative, when a man lets fall signs and 
arguments, that he is not that he is; and the 
third, simulation in the affirmative, when a man 
industriously and expressly feigns and pretends 
to be that he is not. 

For the first of these, secrecy, it is indeed 
the virtue of a confessor ; and assuredly the 
secret man heareth many confessions, for who 
will open himself to a blab or a babbler? But 
if a man be thought secret, it inviteth disco- 
very, as the more close air sucketh in the more 
open : and as in confession the revealing is not 
for worldly use, but for the ease of a man's 
heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of 
many things in that kind; while men rather 
discharge their minds than impart their minds. 
In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. 
Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, 
as well in mind as in body; and it addeth no 
small reverence to men's manners and actions 
if they be not altogether open. As for talkers 



23 

and futile persons, they are commonly vain and 
credulous withal : for he that talketh what he 
knoweth will also talk what he knoweth not; 
therefore set it down, that an habit of secrecy 
is both politic and moral : and in this part it is 
good that a man's face give his tongue leave 
to speak ; for the discovery of a man's self by 
the tracts of his countenance is a great weak- 
ness, and betraying by how much it is many 
times more marked and believed than a man's 
words. 

For the second, which is dissimulation, it 
foiloweth many times upon secrecy by a ne- 
cessity; so that he that will be secret must Ue 
a dissembler in some degree : for men are too 
cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent 
carriage between both, and to be secret with- 
out swaying the balance on either side. They 
will so beset a man with questions, and draw 
him on, and pick it out of him, that without 
an absurd silence he must shew an inclination 
one way; or if he do not, they will gather as 
much by his silence as by his speech. As for 
equivocations or oraculous speeches, they can- 
not hold out long. So that no man can be se- 
cret, except he give himself a little scope of 



24 

dissimulation, which is as it were but the skirts 
or train of secrecy. 

But for the third degree, which is simula- 
tion and false profession, that I hold more 
culpable and less politic, except it be in great 
and rare matters : and therefore a general 
custom of simulation (which is this last degree) 
is a vice rising either of a natural falseness or 
fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main 
faults; which, because a man must needs dis- 
guise, it maketh him practise simulation in 
other things, lest his hand should be out of 
use. 

The great advantages of simulation and 
dissimulation are three : first, to lay asleep op- 
position, and to surprise; for where a man's 
intentions are published, it is an alarm to call 
up all that are against them : the second is to 
reserve to a man's self a fair retreat ; for if a 
man engage himself by a manifest declaration, 
he must go through, or take a fall : the third 
is the better to discover the mind of another ; 
for to him that opens himself men will hardly 
shew themselves adverse ; but will (fair) let 
him go on, and turn their freedom of speech 
to freedom of thought; and therefore it is a 



25 



good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, " Tell a 
" lie and rind a troth ;" as if there were no way 
of discovery but by simulation. There be also 
three disadvantages to set it even; the first, that 
simulation and dissimulation commonly carry 
with them a shew of fearfulness, which, in any 
business, doth spoil the feathers of round flying 
up to the mark ; the second, that it puzzleth and 
perplexeth the conceits of many that perhaps 
would otherwise co-operate with him, and makes 
a man walk almost alone to his own ends ; the 
third and greatest is, that it depriveth a man of 
one of the most principal instruments for action, 
which is trust and belief. The best composition 
and temperature is, to have openness in fame 
and opinion ; secrecy in habit ; dissimulation in 
seasonable use ; and a power to feign, if there 
be no remedy. 



OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN. 

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their 
griefs and fears ; they cannot utter the one, nor 
they will not utter the other. Children sweeten 
labours, but they make misfortunes more bit- 



26 

ter : they increase the cares of life, but they 
mitigate the remembrance of death. The per- 
petuity by generation is common to beasts ; but 
memory, merit, and noble works, are proper to 
men: and surely a man shall see the noblest 
works and foundations have proceeded from 
childless men, which have sought to express 
the images of their minds where those of their 
bodies have failed ; so the care of posterity is 
most in them that have no posterity. They that 
are the first raisers of their houses are most 
indulgent towards their children ; beholding 
them as the continuance, not only of their kind, 
but of their work ; and so both children and 
creatures. 

The difference in affection of parents to- 
wards their several children is many times 
unequal, and sometimes unworthy, especially 
in the mother; as Solomon saith, "A wise 
" son rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious 
" son shames the mother/' A man shall see, 
where there is a house full of children, one or 
two of the eldest respected, and the youngest 
made wantons ; but in the midst some that 
are as it were forgotten, who many times, 
nevertheless, prove the best. The ill liberality 



27 

of parents in allowance towards their children 
is an harmful error ; makes them base ; ac- 
quaints them with shifts ; makes them sort 
with mean company; and makes them surfeit 
more when they come to plenty : and there- 
fore the proof is best when men keep their 
authority towards their children, but not their 
purse. Men have a foolish manner, (both pa- 
rents, and schoolmasters, and servants,) in 
creating and breeding an emulation between 
brothers during childhood, which many times 
sorteth to discord when they are men, and 
disturbeth families. The Italians make little 
difference between children and nephews, or 
near kinsfolks ; but so they be of the lump 
they care not, though they pass not through 
their own body ; and, to say truth, in nature 
it is much a like matter; insomuch that we 
see a nephew sometimes resembleth an uncle 
or a kinsman more than his own parents, as 
the blood happens. Let parents choose be- 
times the vocations and courses they mean 
their children should take, for then they are 
most flexible; and let them not too much 
apply themselves to the disposition of their 
children, as thinking they will take best to 



28 

that which they have most mind to. It is true-, 
that if the affection or aptness of the children 
be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross 
it; but generally the precept is good, " opti- 
" mum elige, suave et facile illud faciet con- 
" suetudo." Younger brothers are commonly 
fortunate, but seldom or never where the elder 
are disinherited. 



OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE 
LIFE. 

He that hath a wife and children hath given 
hostages to fortune ; for they are impediments 
to great enterprizes, either of virtue or mis- 
chief. Certainly the best works, and of great- 
est merit for the public, have proceeded from 
the unmarried or childless men ; which, both 
in affection and means, have married and en- 
dowed the public. Yet it were great reason 
that those that have children should have 
greatest care of future times, unto which they 
know they must transmit their dearest pledges. 
Some there are, who though they lead a single 



29 

life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, 
and account future times impertinences; nay, 
there are some other that account wife and 
children but as bills of charges ; nay more, 
there are some foolish, rich, covetous men that 
take a pride in having no children, because 
they may be thought so much the richer ; for, 
perhaps, they have heard some talk, " Such an 
" one is a great rich man," and another except 
to it, " Yea, but he hath a great charge of 
" children," as if it were an abatement to his 
riches : but the most ordinary cause of a single 
life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing 
and humorous minds, which are so sensible of 
every restraint as they will go near to think their 
girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. 
Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, 
best servants ,; but not always best subjects, 
for they are light to run away ; and almost all 
fugitives are of that condition. A single life 
doth well with churchmen, for charity will 
hardly water the ground where it must first 
fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and 
magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, 
you shall have a servant H\e times worse than 
a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals com- 



30 



monly in their hortatives put men in mind of 
their wives and children ; and I think the de- 
spising of marriage among the Turks maketh 
the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife 
and children are a kind of discipline of hu- 
manity ; and single men, though they be many 
times more charitable because their means are 
less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are 
more cruel and hardhearted, (good to make 
severe inquisitors), because their tenderness is 
not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by 
custom, and therefore constant, are commonly 
loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, " ve- 
l r tulam suam praetulit immortalitati." Chaste 
women are often proud and fro ward, as pre- 
suming upon the merit of their chastity. It is 
one of the best bonds, both of chastity and 
obedience, in the wife, if she think her hus- 
band wise, which she will never do if she find 
him jealous. Wives are young men's mis- 
tresses ; companions for middle age, and old 
men's nurses ; so as a man may have a quarrel 
to marry when he will : but yet he was re- 
puted one of the wise men that made answer 
to the question when a man should marry, " A 
" young man not yet, an elder man not at all/' 



31 

It is often seen that bad husbands have very- 
good wives ; whether it be that it raiseth the 
price of their husbands' kindness when it comes, 
or that the wives take a pride in their patience; 
but this never fails if the bad husbands were of 
their own choosing, against their friends' con- 
sent, for then they will be sure to make good 
their own folly. 



OF ENVY. 

There be none of the affections which have 
been noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love 
and envy : they both have vehement wishes ; 
they frame themselves readily into imagina- 
tions and suggestions ; and they come easily 
into the eye, especially upon the presence of 
the objects, which are the points that conduce 
to fascination, if any such thing there be. We 
see, likewise, the Scripture calleth envy an 
evil eye ; and the astrologers call the evil in- 
fluences of the stars evil aspects ; so that still 
there seemeth to be acknowledged in the act 
of envy an ejaculation or irradiation of the 
eye : nay, some have been so curious as to 



32 

note, that the times, when the stroke or percus- 
sion of an envious eye doth most hurt, are when 
the party envied is beheld in glory or triumph ; 
for that sets an edge upon envy : and besides, at 
such times the spirits of the person envied do 
come forth most into the outward parts, and so 
meet the blow. 

But leaving these curiosities, (though not 
unworthy to be thought on in fit place), we 
will handle what persons are apt to envy others ; 
what persons are most subject to be envied 
themselves ; and what is the difference between 
public and private envy. 

A man that hath no virtue in himself ever 
envieth virtue in others : for men's minds will 
either feed upon their own good, or upon 
others' evil ; and who wanteth the one will 
prey upon the other ; and whoso is out of 
hope to attain to another's virtue will seek to 
come at even hand by depressing another's for- 
tune. 

A man that is busy and inquisitive is com- 
monly envious ; for to know much of other 
men's matters cannot be, because all that ado 
may concern his own estate ; therefore it must 
needs be that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure 



33 

in looking upon the fortunes of others; neither 
Can he that mindeth but his own business find 
much matter for envy ; for envy is a gadding 
passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not 
keep home : " Non est curiosus, quin idem sit 
" malevolus." 

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious 
towards new 7 men when they rise; for the dir 
stance. is altered, and it is like a deceit of the 
eye, that when others come on they think them- 
selves go back. 

Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old men 
W3#*3g&te, are envious; for he that cannot 
possibly mend his own case will do what he can 
to impair another's ; except these defects light 
upon a very brave and heroical nature which 
thinketh to make his natural w r ants part of his 
honour : in that it should be said, " That an 
€t eunuch or a lame man did such great matters ;" 
affecting the honour of a miracle, as it was in 
Narses the eunuch, and Agesilaus and Tamber-* 
lane, that w T ere lame men. 

The same is the case of men that rise after 
calamities and misfortunes ; for they are as men 
fallen out with the times, and think other men's 
harms a redemption of their own sufferings. 

D 



S4> 

They that desire to excel in too many mat- 
ters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever en- 
vious, for they cannot want work ; it being im- 
possible, but many, in some one of those things, 
should surpass them ; which was the character of 
Adrian the emperor, that mortally envied poets, 
and painters, and artificers, in works wherein he 
had a vein to excel. 

Lastly, near kinsfolks and fellows in office, 
and those that have been bred together, are more 
apt to envy their equals when they are raised; 
for it doth upbraid unto them their own for- 
tunes, and pointeth at them, and cometh oft- 
ener into their remembrance, and incurreth 
likewise more into the note of others; and 
envy ever redoubleth from speech and fame. 
Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant 
towards his brother Abel, because, when his 
sacrifice was better accepted, there was nobody 
to look on. Thus much for those that are apt 
to envy, 

Concerning those that are more or less sub- 
ject to envy. First, persons of eminent virtue 
when they are advanced are less envied; for 
their fortune seemeth but due unto them, and 
no man envieth the payment of a debt, but 



35 



rewards and liberality rather. Again, envy is 
ever joined with the comparing of a man's self; 
and where there is no comparison, no envy; and 
therefore kings are not envied but by kings. 
Nevertheless it is to be noted, that unworthy 
persons are most envied at their first coming in, 
and afterwards overcome it better ; whereas con- 
trariwise, persons of worth and merit are most 
envied when their fortune continueth long ; for 
by that time, though their virtue be the same, 
yet it hath not the same lustre, for fresh mea 
grow up to darken it. 

Persons of noble blood are less envied in 
their rising ; for it seemeth but right done to 
their birth: besides, there seemeth not much 
added to their fortune ; and envy is as the sun- 
beams, that beat hotter upon a bank or steep 
rising ground than upon a flat : and, for the 
same reason, those that are advanced by degrees 
are less envied than those that are advanced 
suddenly, and " per saltum." 

Those that have joined with their honour 
great travels, cares, or perils, are less subject tQ 
envy; for men think that they earn their ho- 
nours hardly, and pity them sometimes; and 
pity ever healeth envy ; wherefore you shall 



33 

observe, that the more deep and sober sort of 
politic persons in their greatness are ever be- 
moaning themselves what a life they lead, 
chanting a "quanta patimur;" not that they 
feel it so, but only to abate the edge of envy : 
but this is to be understood of business that is 
laid upon men, and not such as they call unto 
themselves; for nothing increaseth envy more 
than an unnecessary and ambitious ingrossing 
of business ; and nothing doth extinguish envy 
more than for a great person to preserve all 
other inferior officers in their full rights and pre-* 
eminences of their places ; for by that means 
there be so many screens between him and 
envy. 

Above all, those are most subject to envy 
which carry the greatness of their fortunes in 
an insolent and proud manner; being never well 
but while they are shewing how great they are, 
either by outward pomp, or by triumphing over 
all opposition or competition : whereas wise men 
will rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering 
themselves sometimes of purpose to be crossed 
and overborne in things that do not much con- 
cern them. Notwithstanding so much is true, 
that the carriage of greatness in a plain and 



37 

open manner, (so it be without arrogancy and 
vain glory,) doth draw less envy than if it be 
in a more crafty and cunning fashion ; for in 
that course a man doth but disavow fortune, 
and seemeth to be conscious of his own want 
in worth, and doth but teach others to envy 
him. 

Lastly, to conclude this part, as we said in 
the beginning that the act of envy had some- 
what in it of witchcraft, so there is no other 
cure of envy but the cure of witchcraft; and 
that is, to remove the lot (as they call it), and 
to lay it upon another; for which purpose, the 
wiser sort of great persons bring in ever upon 
the stage somebody upon whom to derive the 
envy that would come upon themselves ; some- 
times upon ministers and servants; sometimes 
upon colleagues and associates, and the like; 
and for that turn there are never wanting some 
persons of violent and undertaking natures, who, 
so they may have power and business, will take 
it at any cost. 

Now to speak of public envy : there is yet 
some good in public envy, whereas in private 
there is none; for public envy is as an ostra- 
cism, that eclipseth men when they grow too 



38 

great; and therefore it is a bridle also to great 
ones to keep them within bounds. 

This envy, being in the Latin word " in- 
t* vidia," goeth in the modern languages by the 
name of discontentment; of which we shall 
speak in handling sedition. It is a disease in 
a state like to infection : for as infection spread- 
eth upon that which is sound and tainteth it, 
so when envy is gotten once into a state it 
traduceth even the best actions thereof, and 
turneth them into an ill odour; and therefore 
there is little won by intermingling of plau- 
sible actions ; for that doth argue but a weak- 
ness and fear of envy, which hurteth so much 
the more, as it is likewise usual in infections, 
which if you fear them you call them upon 
you. 

This public envy seemeth to beat chiefly 
Upon principal officers or ministers, rather than 
upon kings and estates themselves. But this 
is a sure rale, that if the envy upon the mi- 
nister be great when the cause of it in him is 
small; or if the envy be general in a manner 
upon all the ministers of an estate, then the 
envy (though hidden) is truly upon the state 
itself. And so much of public envy or dis- 



39 

contentment, and the difference thereof from 
private envy, which was handled in the first 
place. 

We will add this in general, touching the 
affection of envy, that of all other affections it 
is the most importune and continual ; for of 
other affections there is occasion given but now 
and then; and therefore it was well said, " In- 
" vidia festos dies non agit:" for it is ever 
working upon some or other. And it is also 
noted, that love and envy do make a man pine, 
which other affections do not, because they are 
not so continual. It is also the vilest affection, 
and the most depraved ; for which cause it is 
the proper attribute of the devil, who is called, 
" The envious man, that sovveth tares amongst 
"the wheat by night;" as it always cometh to 
pass that envy worketh subtilly, and in the dark, 
and to the prejudice of good things, such as is 
the wheat* 



40 



OF LOVE, - 

The stage is more beholding to love than the 
life of man ; for as to the stage, love is even 
matter of comedies, and now and then of tra- 
gedies; but in life it doth much mischief; 
sometimes like a siren, sometimes like a fury. 
You may observe, that amongst all the great 
and worthy persons (whereof the memory re- 
maineth, either ancient or recent,) there is not 
one that hath been transported to the mad 
degree of love; which shews that great spirits 
and great business do keep out this weak pas- 
sion. You must except, nevertheless, Marcus 
Antonius, the half partner of the empire of 
Rome, and Appius Claudius, the decemvir and 
lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a 
voluptuous man, and inordinate; but the lat- 
ter was an austere and wise man : and there- 
fore it seems (though rarely) that love can 
find entrance, not only into an open heart, 
but also into a heart well fortified, if watch 
be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epi- 
curus, " Satis magnum alter altcri theatrum 
V 1 sumus; v as if man, made for the contem- 



41 

plation of heaven and all noble objects, should 
do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and 
make himself subject, though not of the 
mouth, (as beasts are), yet of the eye, which 
was given him for higher purposes. It is a 
strange thing to note the excess of this passion, 
and how it braves the nature and value of 
things by this, that the speaking in a perpetual 
hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love : 
neither is it merely in the phrase ; for whereas 
it hath been well said, "That the arch flat- 
" terer, with whom all the petty flatterers have 
" intelligence, is a man's self;" certainly the 
lover is more ; for there was never proud man 
thought so absurdly well of himself as the 
lover doth of the person loved ; and therefore 
it was well said, " That it is impossible to love 
" and to be wise." Neither doth this weakness 
appear to others only, and not to the party 
loved, but to the loved most of all, except the 
love be reciprocal ; for it is a true rule, that 
love is ever rewarded either with the recipro- 
cal, or with an inward and secret contempt, 
by how much the more men ought to beware 
of this passion, which loseth not only other 
things, but itself. As for the other losses, the- 



42 

poet's relation doth well figure them : " That 
"he that preferred Helena quitted the gifts of 
u Juno and Pallas ;" for whosoever esteemeth 
too much of amorous affection, quitteth both 
riches and wisdom. This passion hath its floods 
in the very times of weakness, which are, great 
prosperity, and great adversity, though this lat- 
ter hath been less observed ; both which times 
kindle love and make it more fervent, and 
therefore shew it to be the child of folly. They 
do best, who, if they cannot but admit love, 
yet make it keep quarter, and sever it wholly 
from their serious affairs and actions of life ; 
for if it check once with business, it troubleth 
men's fortunes, and maketh men that they can 
no ways be true to their own ends. I know 
not how, but martial men are given to love : 
I think it is, but as they are given to wine ; 
for perils commonly ask to be paid in plea- 
sures. There is in man's nature a secret in- 
clination and motion towards love of others, 
which, if it be not spent upon some one or a 
few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, 
and maketh men become humane and chari- 
table, as it is seen sometime in friars. Nuptial 
love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth 



43 

it; but wanton love corrupteth and em- 
baseth it. 



OF GREAT PLACE. 

Men in great place are thrice servants; ser- 
vants of the sovereign or state, servants of 
fame, and servants of business ; so as they 
have no freedom, neither in their persons, nor 
in their actions, nor in their times. It is a 
Strange desire to seek power and to lose li- 
berty; or to seek power over others, and to 
lose power over a man's self. The rising unto 
place is laborious, and by pains men come to 
greater pains ; and it is sometimes base, and by 
indignities men come to dignities. The stand- 
ing is slippery, and the regress is either a 
downfal, or at least an eclipse, which is a me- 
lancholy thing : " Cum no'n sis qui fueris, 
" non esse cur velis vivere ?" Nay, retire men 
cannot when they would, neither will they 
when it were reason ; but are impatient of 
privateness even in age and sickness, which 
require the shadow ; like old townsmen, that 
will be still sitting at their street door, though 



44 

thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly 
great persons had need to borrow other men's 
opinions to think themselves happy ; for if 
they judge by their own feeling, they cannot 
find it : but if they think with themselves 
what other men think of them, and that other 
men would fain be as they are, then they are 
happy as it were by report, when, perhaps, 
they find the contrary within : for they are 
the first that find their own griefs, though 
they be the last that find their own faults. 
Certainly, men in great fortunes are strangers 
to themselves, and while they are in the puzzle 
of business they have no time to tend their 
health either of body or mind : " Illi mors 
" gravis incubat, qui notus nimis omnibus, 
" ignotus moritur sibi/' In place there is li- 
cense to do good and evil ; whereof the latter 
is a curse : for in evil the best condition is not 
to will ; the second not to can. But power to 
do good is the true and lawful end of aspi- 
ring ; for good thoughts (though God accept 
them), yet towards men are little better than 
good dreams, except they be put in act ; and 
that cannot be without power and place, as 
the vantage and commanding ground. Merit 



45 

and good works is the end of man's motion; 
and conscience of the' same is the accomplish- 
ment of man's rest : for if a man can be par- 
taker of God's theatre, he shall likewise be 
partaker of God's rest: " Et conversus Deus, 
" ut aspiceret opera, quae fecerunt manus sua?, 
" vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis ;" and 
then the sabbath. In the discharge of thy 
place set before thee the best examples ; for 
imitation is a globe of precepts ; and after a 
time set before thee thine own example, and 
examine thyself strictly whether thou didst not 
best at first. Neglect not also the examples of 
those that have carried themselves ill in the 
same place ; not to set off thyself by taxing 
their memory, but to direct thyself what to 
avoid. Reform, therefore, without bravery or 
scandal of former times and persons ; but yet 
set it down to thyself, as well to create good 
precedents as to follow them. Reduce things 
to the first institution, and observe wherein 
and how they have degenerated : but yet ask 
counsel of both times ; of the ancient time 
what is best; and of the latter time what is 
fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that 
men may . know beforehand what they may 



46 

expect: but be not too positive and peremp- 
tory ; and express thyself well when thou di- 
gressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of 
thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction; 
and rather assume thy right in silence, and 
" de facto/' than voice it with claims and 
challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of 
inferior places ; and think it more honour to 
direct in chief than to be busy in all. Em- 
brace and invite helps and advices touching 
the execution of thy place ; and do not drive 
away such as bring thee information as med- 
dlers, but accept of them in good part. The 
vices of authority are chiefly four ; delays, 
corruption, roughness, and facility. For delay* 
give easy access ; keep times appointed ; go 
through with that which is in hand, and in- 
terlace not business but of necessity. For cor- 
ruption, do not only bind thine own hands 
or thy servants' hands from taking, but bind 
the hands of suitors also from offering ; for 
integrity used doth the one ; but integrity 
professed, and with a manifest detestation of 
bribery, doth the other ; and avoid not only 
the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is 
found variable, and changeth manifestly with- 



47 



out manifest cause giveth suspicion of corrup- 
tion : therefore, always, when thou changest 
thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and 
declare it, together with the reasons that move 
thee to change, and do not think to steal it. 
A servant or a favourite, if he be inward, and 
no other apparent cause of esteem, is com- 
monly thought but a by-way to close corrup- 
tion. For roughness, it is a needless cause of 
discontent ; severity breedeth fear, but rough- 
ness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from au- 
thority ought to be grave, and not taunting. 
As for facility, it is worse than bribery; for 
bribes come but now arid then ; but if impor- 
tunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall 
never be without; as Solomon saith, " To 
" respect persons it is not good, for such a man 
" will transgress for a piece of bread ." It is 
most true that was anciently spoken, " A place 
" sheweth the man ; and it sheweth some to 
u the better, and some to the worse :" u omnium 
" consensu, capax imperii, nisi imperasset," 
saith Tacitus of Galba ; but of Vespasian he 
saith, " solus imperantium, Vespasianus mu- 
46 tatus in melius y" though the one was meant 
of sufficiency, the other of manners and affes- 



48 

tion. It is an assured sign of a worthy and 
generous spirit, whom honour amends ; for 
honour is, or sho'ulsL be, the place of virtue ; 
and as in nature things move violently to their 
place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in 
ambition is violent, in authority settled and 
calm. All rising to great place is by a winding 
stair; and if there be factions, it is good to 
side a man's self whilst he is in the rising, and 
to balance himself when he is placed. Use 
the memory of thy predecessor fairly and ten- 
derly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will 
sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou 
have colleagues, respect them ; and rather call 
them when they look not for it, than exclude 
them when they have reason to look to be 
called. Be not too sensible or too remem- 
bering of thy place in conversation and pri- 
vate answers to suitors; but let it rather be 
said, " When he sits in place he is another 
" man." 



4S) 

OF BOLDNESS. 

It is a trivial grammar school text, but yet 
worthy a wise man's consideration. Question 
was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief 
part of an orator ? he answered, action : what 
next ? action : what next again ? action. He 
said it that knew it best, and had by nature 
himself no advantage in that he commended. 
A strange thing, that that part of an orator 
which is but superficial, and rather the virtue 
of a player, should be placed so high above 
those other noble parts of invention, elocution, 
and the rest; nay almost alone, as if it were 
all in all. But the reason is plain. There is 
in human nature generally more of the fool 
than of the wise ; and therefore those faculties 
by which the foolish part of men's minds is 
taken are most potent. Wonderful like is the 
case of boldness in civil business; what first? 
boldness : what second and third ? boldness. 
And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and 
.baseness, far inferior to other parts : but, ne- 
vertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and 
foot those that are either shallow in judgment 

E 



5b 

or weak in courage, which are the greatest 
part; yea, and prevaileth with wise men at 
weak times : therefore we see it hath done 
wonders in popular states, but with senates and 
princes less; and more ever upon the first en- 
trance of bold persons into action, than soon 
after; for boldness is an ill keeper of promise. 
Surely as there are mountebanks for the na- 
tural body, so are there mountebanks for the 
politic body; men that undertake great cures, 
and perhaps have been lucky in two or three 
experiments, but want the grounds of science, 
and therefore cannot hold out: nay, you shall 
see a bold fellow many times do Mahomet's mi- 
racle. Mahomet made the people believe that 
he would call an hill to him, and from the top 
of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his 
law. The people assembled : Mahomet called 
the hill to come to him again and again; and 
when the hill stood still he was never a whit 
abashed, but said, " If the hill will not come to 
" Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill." So 
these men, when they have promised great mat- 
ters, and failed most shamefully, yet (if they 
have the perfection of boldness) they will but 
slight it over, and make a turn, and no more 



51 



ado. Certainly to men of great judgment bold 
persons are sport to behold; nay, and to the 
vulgar also boldness hath somewhat of the 
ridiculous : for if absurdity be the subject of 
laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is 
seldom without some absurdity ; especially it 
is a sport to see when a bold fellow is out of 
countenance, for that puts his face into a most 
shrunken and wooden posture, as needs it must : 
for in bash fulness the spirits do a little go and 
come; but with bold men, upon like occasion, 
they stand at a stay ; like a stale at chess, where 
it is no mate, but yet the game cannot stir : but 
this last were fitter for a satire, than for a se- 
rious observation. This is well to be weighed, 
that boldness is ever blind ; for it seeth not 
dangers and inconveniences : therefore it is ill 
in counsel, good in execution; so that the right 
use of bold persons is, that they never command 
in chief, but be seconds, and under the direction 
of others : for in counsel it is good to see dan- 
gers, and in execution not to see them, except 
they be very great, 



52 



OF GOODNESS AND GOODNESS 
OF NATURE. 

I take goodness in this sense, the affecting of 
the weal of men, which is that the Grecians 
call Philanthropia ; and the word humanity 
(as it is used) is a little too light to express 
it. Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of 
nature the inclination. This, of all virtues 
and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being 
the character of the Deity ; and without it 
man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, 
no better than a kind of vermin. Goodness 
answers to the theological virtue charity, and 
admits no excess but error. The desire of 
power in excess caused the angels to fall ; the 
desire of knowledge in excess caused man to 
fall : but in charity there is no excess, neither 
can angel or man come in danger by it. The 
inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in 
the nature of man ; insomuch, that if it issue 
not towards men, it will take unto other liv- 
ing creatures ; as it is seen in the Turks, a 
cruel people, who, nevertheless, are kind to 



53 

beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds ; inso- 
much, as Busbechius reporteth, a Christian 
boy in Constantinople had like to have been 
stoned for gagging in a waggishness a long- 
billed fowl. Errors, indeed, in this virtue of 
goodness or charity, may be committed. The 
Italians have an ungracious proverb, "Tanto 
" buon, che val niente;" " So good, that he is 
" good for nothing :*' and one of the doctors of 
Italy, Nicolas Macchiavel, had the confidence 
to put in writing, almost in plain terms, "That 
" the Christian faith had given up good men 
" in prey to those that are tyrannical and un- 
" just ;" which he spake, because, indeed, there 
was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much 
magnify goodness as the Christian religion 
doth : therefore, to avoid the scandal, and the 
danger both, it is good to take knowledge of 
the errors of an habit so excellent. Seek the 
good of other men, but be not in bondage to 
their faces or fancies ; for that is but facility 
or softness, which taketh an honest mind pri- 
soner. Neither give thou iEsop's cock a gem, 
who would be better pleased and happier if 
he had a barley-corn. The example of God 
teacheth the lesson truly ; " He sendeth his 



54 

'- rain, and maketh his sun to shine upon the 
" just and unjust;" but he doth not rain wealthy 
nor shine honour and virtues upon men equal- 
ly : common benefits are to be communicated 
with all, but peculiar benefits with choice* 
And beware how in making the portrait thou 
breakest the pattern : for divinity maketh the 
love of ourselves the pattern ; the love of our 
neighbours but the portraiture : u Sell all thou 
" hast, and give it to the poor, and follow 
" me :" but sell not all thou hast, except thou 
come and follow me ; that is, except thou 
have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as 
much good with little means as with great; 
for otherwise, in feeding the streams thou 
driest the fountain. Neither is there only a 
habit of goodness directed by right reason; 
but there is in some men, even in nature, a 
disposition towards it ; as, on the other side, 
there is a natural malignity : for there be 
that in their nature do not affect the good of 
others. The lighter sort of malignity turneth 
but to a crossness, or frowardness, or aptness 
to oppose, or difficilness, or the like ; but the 
deeper sort to envy, and mere mischief. Such 
men, in other men's calamities, are, as it were. 



DO 

in season, and are ever on the loading part : 
not so good as the dogs that licked Lazarus' 
sores, but like flies that are still buzzing upon 
any thing that is raw ; misanthropi, that make 
it their practice to bring men to the bough, 
and yet have never a tree for the purpose in 
their gardens, as Timon had : such dispositions 
are the very errors of human nature, and yet 
they are the fittest timber to make great poli- 
tics of; like to knee timber that is good for 
ships that are ordained to be tossed, but not 
for building houses that shall stand firm. The 
parts and signs of goodness are many. If a 
man be gracious and courteous to strangers, 
it shews he is a citizen of the world, and that 
his heart is no island cut off from other lands, 
but a continent that joins to them: if he be 
compassionate towards the afflictions of others, 
it shews that his heart is like the noble tree 
that is wounded itself when it gives the balm : 
if he easily pardons and remits offences, it 
shews that his mind is planted above injuries, 
so that he cannot be shot : if he be thankful 
for small benefits, it shews that he weighs 
men's minds, and not their trash : but, above 
all, if he have St. Paul's perfection, that he 



56 

would wish to be an anathema from Christ, for 
the salvation of his brethren, it shews much of 
a divine nature, and a kind of conformity with 
Christ himself. 



OF A KING. 

1. A king is a mortal god on earth, unto 
whom the living God hath lent his own name 
as a great honour; but withal told him, he 
should die like a man, lest he should be 
proud, and flatter himself that God hath 
with his name imparted unto him his nature 
also. 

2. Of all kind of men God is the least be- 
holding unto them ; for he doth most for them, 
and they do ordinarily least for him. 

3. A king that would not feel his crown too 
heavy for him, must wear it every day : but if 
he think it too light, he knoweth not of what 
metal it is made. 

4. He must make religion the rule of go- 
vernment, and not to balance the scale ; for he 
that casteth in religion only to make the scales- 
even, his own weight is contained in those cha-^ 



57 



racters, " Mene mene, tekel upharsin," " He is 
" found too light, his kingdom shall be taken 
" from him." 

5. And that king that holds not religion 
the best reason of state is void of all piety and 
justice, the supporters of a king. 

6. He must be able to give counsel himself, 
but not rely thereupon ; for though happy events 
justify their counsels, yet it is better that the 
evil event of good advice be rather imputed to 
a subject than a sovereign. 

7. He is the fountain of honour, which 
should not run with a waste pipe, lest the cour- 
tiers sell the water, and then (as papists say of 
their holy wells) it loses the virtue. 

S. He is the life of the law, not only as he 
is " lex loquens" himself, but because he ani- 
mateth the dead letter, making it active towards 
all his subjects, " praemio et poena/' 

9. A wise king must do less in altering his 
laws than he may ; for new government is ever 
dangerous ; it being true in the body politic, as 
in the corporal, that " omnis subita immutatio 
" est periculosa :" and though it be for the bet- 
ter, yet it is not without a fearful apprehension ; 
for he that changeth the fundamental laws of a 



58 

kingdom thinketh there is no good title to it 
crown but by conquest. 

10. A king that setteth to sale seats of justice 
oppresseth the people ; for he teacheth his j udges 
to sell justice ; and " precio parata precio ven- 
" ditur justitia." 

11. Bounty and magnificence are virtues 
very regal, but a prodigal king is nearer a 
tyrant than a parsimonious ; for store at home 
draweth not his contemplations abroad ; but 
want supplieth itself of what is next, and 
many times the next way : a king herein 
must be wise, and know what he may justly 
do. 

12. That king which is not feared is not 
loved ; and he that is well seen in his craft must 
as well study to be feared as loved ; yet not 
loved for fear, but feared for love. 

13. Therefore, as he must always resemble 
him whose great name he beareth, and that as 
in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy 
on the severe stroke of his justice sometimes, so 
in this not to suffer a man of death to live ; for, 
besides that the land doth mourn, the restraint 
of justice towards sin doth more retard the af- 
fection of love than the extent of mercy doth 



59 

inflame it ; and sure where love is [ill] bestowed, 
fear is quite lost. 

14. His greatest enemies are his flatterers; 
for though they ever speak on his side, yet their 
words still make against him. 

15. The love which a king oweth to a 
Weal public should not be restrained to any 
one particular; yet that his more special favour 
do reflect upon some worthy ones is somewhat 
necessary, because there are few of that capa- 
city. 

16\ He must have a special care of five 
things, if he would not have his crown to be 
but to him " infelix felicitas :" 

first, that " simulata sanctitas" be not in the 
church ; for that is " duplex iniquitas :" 

secondly, that " inutilis sequitas" sit not 
in the chancery ; for that is " inepta miseri- 
" cordia :" 

thirdly, that " utilis iniquitas" keep not 
the exchequer ; for that is " crudele latro- 
" cinium :" 

fourthly, that " fidelis temeritas" be not 
his general ; for that will bring but " serani 
" poenitentiam :" 

fifthly, that " infidelis prudentia" be not 



60 

his secretary ; for that is " anguis sub viridi 
" herbl" 

To conclude ; as he is of the greatest power, 
so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the 
servant of his people, or else he were without a 
calling at all. 

He then that honoureth him not is next 
an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his 
heart. 



OF NOBILITY. 

We will speak of nobility first as a portion of 
an estate, then as a condition of particular 
persons. A monarchy, where there is no no- 
bility at all, is ever a pure and absolute ty- 
ranny, as that of the Turks ; for nobility 
attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of 
the people somewhat aside from the line royal : 
but for democracies they need it not ; and they 
are commonly more quiet, and less subject to 
sedition, than where there are stirps of nobles ; 
for men's eyes are upon the business, and not 
upon the persons ; or, if upon the persons, it 
is for the business sake, as fittest, and not for 



61 



flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last 
well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion 
and of cantons; for utility is their bond, and 
not respects. The united provinces of the Low 
Countries in their government excel ; for where 
there is an equality the consultations are more 
indifferent, and the payments and tributes more 
cheerful. A great and potent nobility addeth 
majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power; 
and putteth life and spirit into the people, 
but presseth their fortune. It is well when 
nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor 
for justice ; and yet maintained in that height, 
as the insolency of inferiors may be broken 
upon them before it come on too fast upon 
the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility 
causeth poverty and inconvenience in a state, 
for it is a surcharge of expence ; and besides, 
it being of necessity that many of the nobility 
fall in time to be weak in fortune, it maketh 
a kind of disproportion between honour and 
means. 

As for nobility in particular persons, it 
is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or 
building not in decay, or to see a fair timber 
tree sound and perfect; how much more to 



62 

behold an ancient noble family, which hath 
stood against the waves and weathers of time ? 
for new nobility is but the act of power, but 
ancient nobility is the act of time. Those that 
are first raised to nobility are commonly more 
virtuous, but less innocent, than their descend- 
ants; for there is rarely any rising but by a 
commixture of good and evil arts: but it is 
reason the memory of their virtues remain to 
their posterity, and their faults die with them- 
selves. Nobility of birth commonly abateth 
industry; and he that is not industrious envieth 
him that is : besides, noble persons cannot go 
much higher ; and he that standeth at a stay 
when others rise, can hardly avoid motions of 
envy. On the other side, nobility extinguished! 
the passive envy from others towards them, 
because they are in possession of honour. Cer- 
tainly, kings that have able men of their nobility 
shall find ease in employing them, and a better 
slide into their business ; for people naturally 
bend to them as born in some sort to com? 
mand« 



63 



OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES. 

Shepherds of people had need know the calen- 
dars of tempests in state, which are commonly 
greatest when things grow to equality ; as na- 
tural tempests are greatest about the equinoctial ; 
and as there are certain hollow blasts of wind 
and secret swellings of seas before a tempest, so 
are there in states: 

"IUe etiam csrcos instare tumultus 



Saepe monet, fraudesque et operta tumcscere bella/* 

Libels and licentious discourses against the state, 
when they are frequent and open ; and in like 
sort false news often running up and down to 
the disadvantage of the state, and hastily em*- 
braced, are amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil, 
giving the pedigree of Fame, saith she was sister 
to the giants : 

"Illam Terra parens, ira irritata Deorum, 
Extremam (ut perhibent) Coco Enceladoque sororem 
Progenuit." JEneid.1V. 177. 

As if fames were the relics of seditions past; 
but they are no less indeed the preludes of 



64* 

seditions to come. Howsoever he noteth it 
right, that seditious tumults, and seditious 
fames, differ no more but as brother and sister, 
masculine and feminine ; especially if it come 
to that, that the best actions of a state, and the 
most plausible, and which ought to give greatest 
contentment, are taken in ill sense and tra- 
duced ; for that shews the envy great, as Taci- 
tus saith, " conflata magna invidia, seu bene, 
u seu male, gesta premunt." Neither doth it 
follow, that because these fames are a sign of 
troubles, that the suppressing of them with too 
much severity should be a remedy of troubles ; 
for the despising of them many times checks 
them best, and the going about to stop them 
doth but make a wonder long-lived. Also that 
kind of obedience which Tacitus speaketh of 
is to be held suspected; " Erant in officio, sed 
" tamen qui mallent mandata imperantium in- 
*' terpretari, quam exequi ;" disputing, excusing, 
cavilling upon mandates and directions, is a 
kind of shaking off the yoke and assay of dis- 
obedience; especially if in those disputings they 
which are for the direction speak fearfully and 
tenderly, and those that are against iVaudaei- 
ously^ 



G5 

Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when 
princes, that ought to be common parents, 
make themselves as a party and lean to a side, 
it is as a boat that is overthrown by uneven 
weight on the one side : as was well seen in 
the time of Henry the Third of France ; for 
first himself entered league for the extirpation 
of the protestants, and presently after the same 
league was turned upon himself : for when the 
authority of princes is made but an accessary 
to a cause, and that there be other bands 
that tie faster than the band of sovereignty, 
kings begin to be put almost out of posses- 
sion. 

Also, when discords, and quarrels, and fac- 
tions are carried openly and audaciously, it is a 
sign the reverence of government is lost; for the 
motions of the greatest persons in a government 
ought to be as the motions of the planets under 
" primum mobile/' (according to the old opi- 
nion,) which is, that every of them is carried 
swiftly by the highest motion, and softly in their 
own motion ; and, therefore, when great ones 
in their own particular motion move violently, 
and, as Tacitus expresseth it well, " liberius 
" quam ut imperantium meminissent/' it is a 



66 

sign the orbs are out of frame ; for reverence is 
that wherewith princes are girt from God, who 
threateneth the dissolving thereof; " solvam 
" cingula regum." 

So when any of the four pillars of govern- 
ment are mainly shaken, or weakened, (which 
are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure,) 
men had need to pray for fair weather. But 
let us pass from this part of predictions, (con- 
cerning which, nevertheless, more light may 
be taken from that which followeth,) and let 
us speak first of the materials of seditions, then 
of the motives of them, and thirdly of the re- 
medies. 

Concerning the materials of sedition, it is 
a thing well to be considered ; for the surest 
way to prevent seditions, (if the times do bear 
it,) is to take away the matter of them ; for 
if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell 
whence the spark shall come that shall set it 
on fire. The matter of seditions is of two 
kinds, much poverty and much discontent- 
ment- It is certain, so many overthrown 
estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan 
noteth well the state of Rome before the civil 
war. 



67 

4i Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore fcenus, 
u Hinc concussa fides, et multis utile btllum.• , 

This same " multis utile bellum" is an assured 
and infallible sign of a state disposed to sedi- 
tions and troubles ; and if this poverty and 
broken estate in the better sort be joined with 
a want and necessity in the mean people, the 
danger is imminent and great ; for the rebel- 
lions of the belly are the worst. As for discon- 
tentments, they are in the politic body like to 
humours in the natural, which are apt to gather 
a preternatural heat and to enflame ; and let no 
prince measure the danger of them by this, 
whether they be just or unjust; for that were 
to imagine people to be too reasonable, who do 
often spurn at their own good ; nor yet by this, 
whether the griefs whereupon they rise be in 
fact great or small ; for they are the most dan- 
gerous discontentments where the fear is greater 
than the feeling: " Dolendi modus, timendi 
" non item :" besides, in great oppressions, the 
same things that provoke the patience do 
withal mate the courage ; but in fears it is not 
so : neither let any prince or state be secure 
concerning discontentments because they have 
been often, or have been long, and yet no 



68 



peril hath ensued; for as it is true that every 
vapour or fume doth not turn into a storm, 
so it is nevertheless true, that storms, though 
they blow over divers times, yet may fall at 
last; and as the Spanish proverb noteth well, 
" The cord breaketh at the last by the weakest 
"pull." 

The causes and motives of seditions are 
innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws 
and customs, breaking of privileges, general 
oppression, advancement of unworthy persons, 
strangers, dearths, disbanded soldiers, factions 
grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending 
people joineth and knitteth them in a common 
cause. 

For the remedies there may be some ge- 
neral preservatives, whereof we will speak : as 
for the just cure, it must answer to theparticur- 
lar disease; and so be left to counsel rather than 
rule. 

The first remedy or prevention is to remove 
by all means possible that material cause of 
sedition whereof we speak, which is want and 
poverty in the estate ; to which purpose serveth 
the opening and well balancing of trade ; the 
cherishing of manufactures; the banishing of 



69 

idleness; the repressing of waste and excess by 
sumptuary laws ; the improvement and hus- 
banding of the soil ; the regulating of prices of 
things vendible; the moderating of taxes and 
tributes, and the like. Generally it is to be fore- 
seen that the population of a kingdom, (espe- 
cially if it be not mown down by wars,) do not 
exceed the stock of the kingdom which should 
maintain them : neither is the population to be 
reckoned only by number ; for a smaller number 
that spend more and earn less do wear out an 
estate sooner than a greater number that live 
lower and gather more : therefore the multiply- 
ing of nobility and other degrees of quality, in 
an over-proportion to the common people, doth 
speedily bring a state to necessity ; and so doth 
likewise an overgrown clergy, for they bring 
nothing to the stock ; and in like manner when 
more are bred scholars than preferments can 
take off. 

It is likewise to be remembered, that, foras- 
much as the increase of any estate must be upon 
the foreigner, (for whatsoever is somewhere 
gotten is somewhere lost,) there be but three 
things which one nation selleth unto another ; 
the commodity as nature yieldeth it ; the 



70 

manufacture ; and the vecture or carriage : so 
that if these two wheels go, wealth will flow 
as in a spring tide : and it cometh many times 
to pass, that " materiam superabit opus/ 7 that 
the work and carriage is more worth than the 
material, and enricheth a state more : as is 
notably seen in the Low Country men, who 
have the best mines above ground in the 
world. 

Above all things good policy is to be used, 
that the treasure and monies in a state be not 
gathered into few hands ; for, otherwise, a state 
may have a great stock and yet starve : and mo- 
ney is like muck, not good except it be spread. 
This is done chiefly by suppressing, or, at the 
least, keeping a strait hand upon the devour- 
ing trades of usury, ingrossing, great pasturages, 
and the like. 

For removing discontentments, or, at least, 
-the danger of them, there is in every state (as 
we know) two portions of subjects, the nobles 
and the commonalty. When one of these is 
discontented, the danger is not great; for com- 
mon people are of slow motion if they be not 
excited by the greater sort ; and the greater 
sort are of small strength, except the multitude 



7 1 

be apt and ready to move of themselves : then 
is the danger when the greater sort do but wait 
for the troubling of the waters amongst the 
meaner, that then they may declare themselves. 
The poets feign that the rest of the gods would 
have bound Jupiter, which he hearing of, by 
the counsel of Pallas, sent for Briareus with his 
hundred hands to come in to his aid — an em- 
blem, no doubt, to shew how safe it is for 
monarchs to make sure of the good will of com- 
mon people. 

To give moderate liberty for griefs and dis- 
contentments to evaporate, (so it be without 
too great insolency or bravery,) is a safe way ; 
for he that turneth the humours back, and 
maketh the wound bleed inwards, endanger- 
eth malign ulcers and pernicious imposthuma- 
tions. 

The part of Epimethcus might well become 
Prometheus in the case of discontentments, 
for there is not a better provision against 
them.. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils flew 
abroad, at last shut the lid, and kept hope 
in the bottom of the vessel. Certainly, the 
politic and artificial nourishing and entertain- 
ing of hopes, and carrying men from hopes 



72 

to hopes is one of the best antidotes against 
the poison of discontentments : and it is a 
certain sign of a wise government and proceed- 
ing when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, 
when it cannot by satisfaction; and when it 
can handle things in such manner as no evil 
shall appear so peremptory, but that it hath 
some outlet of hope ; which is the less hard 
to do, because both particular persons and 
factions are apt enough to flatter themselves, 
or, at least, to brave that which they believe 
not. 

Also the foresight and prevention that there 
be no likely or fit head whereunto discontented 
persons may resort, and under whom they may 
join, is a known but an excellent point of 
caution. I understand a fit head to be one 
that hath greatness and reputation, that hath 
confidence with the discontented party, and 
upon whom they turn their eyes, and that is 
thought discontented in his own particular; 
which kind of persons are either to be won and 
reconciled to the state, and that in a fast and 
true manner ; or to be fronted with some other 
of the same party that may oppose them, and 
so divide the reputation. Generally, the dividing 



73 

and breaking of all factions and combinations 
that are adverse to the state, and setting them 
at distance, or, at least, distrust among them- 
selves, is not one of the worst remedies ; for it 
is a desperate case, if those that hold with the 
proceeding of the state be full of discord and 
faction, and those that are against it be entire 
and united. 

I have noted that some witty and sharp 
speeches which have fallen from princes have 
given fire to seditions. Caesar did himself 
infinite hurt in that speech, " Sylla nescivit 
" literas, non potuit dictare ;" for it did ut- 
terly cut off that hope which men had enter- 
tained, that he would at one time or other 
give over his dictatorship. Galba undid him- 
self by that speech, " Legi a se militem, non 
" emi ;" for it put the soldiers out of hope of 
the donative. Probus, likewise, by that speech, 
" Si vixero, non opus erit amplius Romano 
" imperio militibus," a speech of great despair 
for the soldiers ; and many the like. Surely, 
princes had need in tender matter and tick- 
lish times to beware what they say, especi- 
ally in these short speeches, which fly abroad 
like darts, and are thought to be shot out of 



74 

their secret intentions; for as for large dis- 
courses, they are flat things, and not so much 
noted. 

Lastly, let princes against all events not 
be without some great person, one or rather 
more, of military valour, near unto them, for 
the repressing of seditions in their beginnings; 
for without that there useth to be more tre- 
pidation in court upon the first breaking out 
of troubles than were fit ; and the state run- 
neth the danger of that which Tacitus saith, 
u atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum 
" facinus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes 
" paterentur :" but let such military persons 
be assured and well reputed of, rather than 
factious and popular ; holding also good cor- 
respondence with the other great men in the 
state, or else the remedy is worse than the 
disease. 



75 



OF ATHEISM. 

I Had rather believe all the fables in the le- 
gend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than 
that this universal frame is without a mind : 
and, therefore, God never wrought miracle to 
convince atheism, because his ordinary works 
convince it. It is true that a little philosophy 
inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in 
philosophy bringeth men's minds about to re- 
ligion; for while the mind of man looketh 
upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes 
rest in them, and go no farther; but when it 
beholdeth the chain of them confederate and 
linked together, it must needs fly to Provi- 
dence and Deity : nay, even that school which 
is most accused of atheism doth most demon- 
strate religion ; that is, the school of Leucippus, 
and Democritus, and Epicurus: for it is a 
thousand times more credible, that four mu- 
table elements and one immutable fifth essence, 
duly and eternally placed, need no God, than 
that an army of infinite small portions, or 
seeds unplaced, should have produced this 
order and beauty without a divine marshal. 



7<? 

The Scripture saith, "The fool hath said in 
" his heart, there is no God:" it is not said, 
" The fool hath thought in his heart;" so as 
he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that 
he would have, than that he can thoroughly 
believe it, or be persuaded of it; for none deny 
there is a God, but those for whom it maketh 
that there were no God. It appeareth in no- 
thing more, that atheism is rather in the lip 
than in the heart of man, than by this, that 
atheists will ever be talking of that their opi- 
nion, as if they fainted in it within themselves, 
and would be glad to be strengthened by the 
consent of others: nay more, you shall have 
atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with 
other sects ; and, which is most of all, you 
shall have of them that will suffer for atheism, 
and not recant ; whereas, if they did truly think 
that there were no such thing as God, why 
should they trouble themselves ? Epicurus is 
charged, that he did but dissemble for his 
credit's sake when he affirmed there were 
blessed natures, but such as enjoyed themselves 
Avithout having respect to the government of 
the world ; wherein they say he did tempo- 
rize, though in secret he thought there was 



77 



no God: but certainly he is traduced, for his 
words are noble and divine; " Non Deos vulgi 
" negare profanum ; sed vulgi opiniones cliis 
" applicare profanum/' Plato could have said 
no more; and, although he had the confidence 
to deny the administration, he had not the 
power to deny the nature. The Indians of the 
West have names for their particular gods, 
though they have no name for God ; as if the 
heathens should have had the names Jupiter, 
Apollo, Mars, &c. but not the word Deus ; 
which shews, that even those barbarous people 
have the notion, though they have not the 
latitude and extent of it : so that against 
atheists the very savages ta*ke part with the 
very subtilest philosophers. The contemplative 
atheist is rare, a Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian 
perhaps, and some others; and yet they seem 
to be more than they are ; for that all that 
impugn a received religion or superstition are 
by the adverse part branded with the name of 
atheists : but the great atheists indeed are hy- 
pocrites, which are ever handling holy things, 
but without feeling; so as they must needs be 
cauterized in the end. The causes of atheism 
are, divisions in religion, if they be many; 



78 



for any one main division addeth zeal to both 
sides, but many divisions introduce atheism: 
another is, scandal of priests, when it is come 
to that which St. Bernard saith, "nonestjam 
" dicere, ut populus, sic sacerdos; quia nee sic 
u populus, ut sacerdos :" a third is, a custom 
of profane scoffing in holy matters, which 
doth by little and little deface the reverence 
of religion ; and, lastly, learned times, especially* 
with peace and prosperity; for troubles and 
adversities do more bow men's minds to re- 
ligion. They that deny a God destroy man's 
nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the 
beasts -by his body; and, if he be not of kin to 
God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble 
creature. It destroys likewise magnanimity, 
and the raising of human nature; for take an 
example of a dog, and mark what a generosity 
and courage he will put on when he finds 
himself maintained by a man, who to him is 
instead of a God, or " rnelior natura;" which 
courage is manifestly such as that creature, 
without that confidence of a better nature 
than his own, could never attain. So man, 
when he resteth and assureth himself upon 
divine protection and favour, gathereth a force 



19 

and faith which human nature in itself could 
not obtain; therefore, as atheism is in all re- 
spects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth 
human nature of the means to exalt itself 
above human frailty. As it is in particular 
persons, so it is in nations: never was there 
such a state for magnanimity as Rome; of this 
state hear what Cicero saith, " Quam volu- 
" mus, licet, patres conscripti, nos ameraus, 
" tamen nee numero Hispanos, nee robore Gal- 
" los, nee calliditate Poenos, nee artibus Grae- 
u cos, nee denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et 
" terras domestico nativoque sensu Italos ipsos 
" et Latinos; sed pietate, ac religione, atque 
" hac una sapientia, quod deorum immorta- 
u lium numine omnia regi, gubernarique per- 
" speximus, omnes gentes nationesque superavi- 
" mus/' 



OF SUPERSTITION. 

It were better to have no opinion of God a$ 
all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of 
him; for the one is unbelief, the other is con- 
tumely : and certainly superstition is the re- 



80 

proach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to 
that purpose; " Surely/' saith he, "I had ra- 
" ther a great deal men should say there was 
6 no such man at all as Plutarch, than that 
" they should say that there was one Plutarch 
" that would eat his children as soon as they 
u were born/' as the poets speak of Saturn: 
and, as the contumely is greater towards God> 
so the clanger is greater towards men. Atheism 
leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural 
piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may 
be guides to an outward moral virtue, though 
religion were not ; but superstition dismounts 
all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy 
in the minds of men : therefore atheism did 
never perturb states ; for it makes men wary 
of themselves, as looking no farther, and we 
see the times inclined to atheism (as the time 
of Augustus Caesar) were civil times: but su- 
perstition hath been the confusion of many 
states, and bringeth in a new "primum mo- 
" bile/' that ravisheth all the spheres of go- 
vernment. The master of superstition is the 
people, and in all superstition wise men follow 
fools; and arguments are fitted to practice in 
a reversed order. It was gravely said by some 



8i 

of the prelates in the council of Trent, where 
the doctrine of the schoolmen bare great sway, 
that the schoolmen were like astronomers, which 
did feign eccentrics and epicycles, and such en- 
gines of orbs to save the phenomena, though 
they knew there were no such things ; and in 
like manner, that the schoolmen had framed a 
number of subtile and intricate axioms and 
theorems, to save the practice of the church. 
The causes of superstition are pleasing and sen- 
sual rites and ceremonies ; excess of outward 
and pharisaical holiness; over-great reverence of 
traditions, which cannot but load the church ; 
the stratagems of prelates for their own am- 
bition and lucre ; the favouring too much of 
good intentions, which openeth the gate to 
conceits and novelties ; the taking an aim at 
divine matters by human, which cannot but 
breed mixture of imaginations ; and, lastly, bar- 
barous times, especially joined with calamities 
and disasters. Superstition without a veil is a 
deformed thing; for as it addeth deformity to 
an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of 
superstition to religion makes it the more de- 
formed : and, as wholesome meat corrupteth to 
little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt 

G 



82 

into a number of petty observances. There is 
a superstition in avoiding superstition, when 
men think to do best if they go farthest from 
the superstition formerly received; therefore care 
should be had that, (as it fareth in ill purgings,) 
the good be not taken away with the bad, which 
commonly is done when the people is the re- 
former. 



OF TRAVEL. 

Travel in the younger sort is apart of educa- 
tion ; in the elder a part of experience. He 
that travelleth into a country, before he hath 
some entrance into the language, goeth to 
school, and not to travel. That young men 
travel under some tutor, or grave servant, I 
allow well ; so that he be such a one that hath 
the language, and hath been in the country 
before ; whereby he may be able to tell them 
what things are worthy to be seen in the coun- 
try where they go, what acquaintances they 
are to seek, what exercises or discipline the 
place yieldeth ; for else young men shall go 
hooded, and look abroad little. It is a strange 



S3 

thing, that in sea voyages, where there is no- 
thing to be seen but sky and sea, men should 
make diaries ; but in land travel, wherein so 
much is to be observed, for the most part they 
omit it ; as if chance were fitter to be re- 
gistered than observation : let diaries, therefore, 
be brought in use. The things to be seen and 
observed are the courts of princes, especially 
when they give audience to ambassadors ; the 
courts of justice while they sit and hear causes ; 
and so of consistories ecclesiastic ; the churches 
and monasteries, with the monuments which 
are therein extant ; the walls and fortifications 
of cities and towns ; and so the havens and 
harbours, antiquities and ruins, libraries, col- 
leges, disputations, and lectures where any are; 
shipping and navies ; houses and gardens of 
state and pleasure near great cities ; armories, 
arsenals, magazines, exchanges, burses, ware- 
houses, exercises of horsemanship, fencing, 
training of soldiers, and the like ; comedies, 
such whereunto the better sort of persons do 
resort; treasuries of jewels and robes ; cabinets 
and rarities ; and to conclude, whatsoever is 
memorable in the places where they go ; after 
till which the tutors or servants ought to make 



84 

diligent inquiry. As for triumphs, masks, feasts, 
weddings, funerals, capital executions, and 
such shews, men need not to be put in mind 
of them; yet are they not to be neglected. If 
you will have a young man to put his travel 
into a little room, and in short time to gather 
much, this you must do : first, as was said, he 
must have some entrance into the language 
before he goeth ; then he must have such a 
servant or tutor as knoweth the country, as 
was likewise said : let him carry with him 
also some card or book describing the country 
where he travelleth, which will be a good key 
to his inquiry ; let him keep also a diary ; 
let him not stay long in one city or town, more 
or less as the place deserveth, but not long ; 
nay, when he stayeth in one city or town, let 
him change his lodging from one end and 
part of the town to another, which is a great 
adamant of acquaintance ; let him sequester 
himself from the company of his countrymen, 
and diet in such places where there is good 
company of the nation where he travelleth ; 
let him upon his removes from one place to 
another procure recommendation to some per- 
son of quality residing in the place whither 



85 



he removeth, that he may use his favour in 
those things he desireth to see or know : thus 
he may abridge his travel with much profit. 
As for the acquaintance which is to be sought 
in travel, that which is most of all profitable 
is acquaintance with the secretaries and em- 
ployed men of ambassadors ; for so in travel- 
ling in one country he shall suck the experi- 
ence of many : let him also see and visit emi- 
nent persons in all kinds which are of great 
name abroad, that he may be able to tell how 
the life agreeth with the fame : for quarrels, 
they are with care and discretion to be avoid- 
ed ; they are commonly for mistresses, healths, 
place, and words : and let a man beware how 
he keepeth company with choleric and quarrel- 
some persons ; for they will engage him into 
their own quarrels. When a traveller return- 
eth home, let him not leave the countries 
where he hath travelled altogether behind 
him ; but maintain a correspondence by letters 
with those of his acquaintance which are of 
most worth; and let his travel appear rather 
in his discourse, than in his apparel or gesture ; 
and in his discourse let him be rather advised 
in his answers, than forward to tell stories: 



8(3 



and let it appear that he doth not change his 
country manners for those of foreign parts ; 
but only prick in some flowers of that he hath 
learned abroad into the customs of his own 
country. 



OF EMPIRE. 

It is a miserable state of mind to have few 
things to desire, and many things to fear; and 
yet that commonly is the case of kings, who 
being at the highest, want matter of desire, 
which makes their minds more languishing ; 
and have many representations of perils and 
shadows, which make their minds the less 
clear : and this is one reason also of that ef- 
fect which the Scripture speaketh of, " That 
" the king's heart is inscrutable;" for multi- 
tude of jealousies, and lack of some predomi- 
nant desire, that should marshal and put in 
order all the rest, maketh any man's heart 
hard to find or sound. Hence it comes like- 
wise, that princes many times make them- 
selves desires, and set their hearts upon toys ; 
sometimes upon a building ; sometimes upon 



87 

erecting of an order ; sometimes upon the ad* 
vancing of a person ; sometimes upon obtain- 
ing excellency in some art, or feat of the hand ; 
as Nero for playing on the harp ; Domitian 
for certainty of the hand with the arrow; 
Commodus for playing at fence ; Caracalla for 
driving chariots, and the like. This seemeth 
incredible unto those that know not the prin- 
ciple, that the mind of man is more cheered 
and refreshed .by profiting in small things, 
than by standing at a stay in great. We see 
also that kings that have been fortunate con- 
querors in their first years, it being not possible 
for them to go forward infinitely, but that 
they must have some check or arrest in their 
fortunes, turn in their latter years to be su- 
perstitious and melancholy ; as did Alexander 
the Great, Dioclesian, and in our memory 
Charles the Fifth, and others ; for he that is 
used to go forward, and findeth a stop, falleth 
out of his own favour, and is not the thing he 
.was. 

To speak now of the true temper of em- 
pire, it is a thing rare and hard to keep; for 
both temper and distemper consist of con- 
traries : but it is one thing to mingle con- 



traries, another to interchange them. The an- 
swer of Apollonius to Vespasian is full of excel- 
lent instruction. Vespasian asked him, What was 
Nero's overthrow ? lie answered, Nero could 
touch and tune the harp well, but in govern- 
ment sometimes he used to wind the pins too 
high, sometimes to let them down too low ; and 
certain it is, that nothing destroyeth authority 
so much as the unequal and untimely inter- 
change of power pressed too far, and relaxed 
too much. 

This is true, that the wisdom of all these 
latter times in princes' affairs is rather fine 
deliveries, and shifting of dangers and mis- 
chiefs, when they are near, than solid and 
grounded courses to keep them aloof : but 
this is but to try masteries with fortune;, 
and let men beware how they neglect and 
suffer matter of trouble to be prepared ; for 
no man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence 
it may come. The difficulties in princes' busi- 
ness are many and great ; but the greatest 
difficulty is often in their own mind ; for it is 
common with princes, (saith Tacitus,) to will 
contradictories; " Sunt plerumque regum vo- 
" Imitates vehcinentes, et. inter sc conlrarice*" 



89 

for it is the solecism of power to think to 
command the end, and yet not to endure the 
means. 

Kings have to deal with their neighbours, 
their wives, their children, their prelates or 
clergy, their nobles, their second nobles or 
gentlemen, their merchants, their commons, 
and their men of war ; and from all these arise 
dangers, if care and circumspection be not 
used. 

First, for their neighbours there can no 
general rule be given, (the occasions are so 
variable,) save one which ever holdeth; which 
is, that princes do keep due centinel, that none 
of their neighbours do overgrow so, (by in- 
crease of territory, by embracing of trade, by 
approaches, or the like,) as they become more 
able to annoy them than they were ; and this 
is generally the work of standing counsels to 
foresee and to hinder it. During that trium- 
virate of kings, king Henry the Eighth of Eng- 
land, Francis the First, king of France, and 
Charles the Fifth emperor, there was such a 
watch kept, that none of the three could win- 
a. palm of ground, but the other two would 
straightways balance it, either by confederation,. 



90 

or, if need were, by a war; and would not 
in any wise take up peace at interest : and 
the like was done by that league, (which, 
Guicciardini saith, was the security of Italy,) 
made between Ferdinando, king of Naples, 
Lorenzius Medices, and Ludovicus Sforsa, po- 
tentates, the one of Florence, the other of 
Milan. Neither is the opinion of some of the 
schoolmen to be received, that a war cannot 
justly be made, but upon a precedent injury 
or provocation ; for there is no question, but 
a just fear of an imminent danger, though 
there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of a 
war. 

For their wives, there are cruel examples 
of them. Livia is infamed for the poisoning 
of her husband; Roxolana, Solyman's wife, was 
the destruction of that renowned prince, Sultan 
Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his house 
and succession; Edward the Second of Eng- 
land's queen had the principal hand in the 
deposing and murder of her husband. This 
kind of danger is then to be feared chiefly 
when the wives have plots for the raising of 
their own children, or else that they be advou- 
Iresses. 



91 

For their children, the tragedies likewise 
of dangers from them have been many; and 
generally the entering of fathers into suspicion 
of their children hath been ever unfortunate. 
The destruction of Mustapha, (that we named 
before,) was so fatal to Solyman's line, as the 
succession of the Turks from Solyman until this 
day is suspected to be untrue, and of strange 
blood ; for that Selymus the Second was thought 
to be supposititious. The destruction of Cris- 
pus, a young prince of rare towardness, by 
Constantinus the Great, his father, was in like 
manner fatal to his house, for both Constantinus 
and Constance, his sons, died violent deaths ; 
and Constantius, his other son, did little better, 
who died indeed of sickness, but after that 
Julianus had taken arms against him. The 
destruction of Demetrius, son to Philip the Se- 
cond of Macedon, turned upon the father, who 
died of repentance: and many like examples 
there are, but few or none where the fathers 
had good by such distrust, except it were where 
the sons were up in open arms against them ; 
as was Selymas the First against Bajazet, and 
the three sons of Henry the Second king of 
England. 



92 

For their prelates, when they are proud and 
great there is also danger from them ; as it was 
in the times of Anselmus and Thomas Beckett, 
archbishops of Canterbury, who with their cro- 
siers did almost try it with the king's sword ; and 
yet they had to deal w r ith stout and haughty 
kings, William Rufus, Henry the First, and 
Henry the Second. The danger is not from 
that state, but where it hath a dependence of 
foreign authority; or where the churchmen 
come in, and are elected, not by the collation 
of the king, or particular patrons, but by the 
people. 

For their nobles, to keep them at a distance 
it is not amiss ; but to depress them may make 
a king more absolute, but less safe, and less able 
to perform any thing that he desires. I have 
noted it in my history of king Henry the Seventh 
of England, who depressed his nobility, where^ 
upon it came to pass that his times w T ere full 
of difficulties and troubles; for the nobility, 
though they continued loyal unto him, yet did 
they not co-operate with him in his business ; 
so that in effect he was fain to do all things 
himself. 

For their second nobles, there is not much 



93 

danger from them, being a body dispersed : 
they may sometimes discourse high, but that 
doth little hurt; besides, they are a counter- 
poise to the higher nobility, that they grow 
not too potent; and, lastly, being the most 
immediate in authority with the common 
people, they do best temper popular commo- 
tions. 

For their merchants, they are "vena porta;" 
and if they flourish not, a kingdom may have 
good limbs, but will have empty veins, and 
nourish little. Taxes and imposts upon them 
do seldom good to the king's revenue, for that 
that he wins in the hundred he loseth in the 
shire ; the particular rates being increased, but 
the total bulk of trading rather decreased. 

For their commons, there is little danger 
from them, except it be where they have great 
and potent heads ; or where you meddle with 
the point of religion, or their customs, or means 
of life. 

For their men of war, it is a dangerous state 
where they live and remain in a body, and are 
used to donatives, whereof we see examples in 
the j anizaries and praetorian bands of Rome ; but 
trainings of men, and arming them in several 



places, and under several commanders, and 
without donatives, are things of defence and no 
danger. 

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which 
cause good or evil times; and which have much 
veneration, but no rest. All precepts concern- 
ing kings are in effect comprehended in those 
two remembrances, " memento quod es homo ;" 
and " memento quod es Deus, or vice Dei;" the 
one bridleth their power, and the other their 
will. 



OF COUNSEL. 

The greatest trust between man and man is 
the trust of giving counsel; for in other con- 
fidences men commit the parts of life, their 
lands, their goods, their children, their credit, 
some particular affair; but to such as they 
make their counsellors they commit the whole : 
by how much the more they are obliged to all 
faith and integrity. The wisest princes need 
not think it any diminution to their great- 
ness, or derogation to their sufficiency, to rely 
upon counsel. God himself is not without. 



95 



but hath made it one of the great names 
of his blessed son, " The Counsellor ." Solo- 
mon hath pronounced that, " in counsel is sta- 
" bility." Things will have their first or 
second agitation: if they be not tossed upon 
the arguments of counsel, they will be tossed 
upon the waves of fortune ; and be full of in- 
constancy, doing and undoing, like the reeling 
of a drunken man. Solomon's son found the 
force of counsel, as his father saw the ne- 
cessity of it; for the beloved kingdom of God 
was first rent and broken by ill counsel ; upon 
which counsel there are set for our instruction 
the two marks whereby bad counsel is for 
ever best discerned, that it was young counsel 
for the persons, and violent counsel for the 
matter. 

The ancient times do set forth in figure 
both the incorporation and inseparable con- 
junction of counsel with kings, and the wise 
and politic use of counsel by kings: the one, 
in that they say Jupiter did marry Metis, 
which signifieth counsel; whereby they in- 
tend that sovereignty is married to counsel ; 
the other in that which followeth, which was 
thus: they say, after Jupiter was married to 



96 

Metis, she conceived by him and was with 
child, but Jupiter suffered her not to stay till 
she brought forth, but eat her up ; whereby he 
became himself with child, and was delivered 
of Pallas armed out of his head. Which mon- 
strous fable containeth a secret of empire, how 
kings are to make use of their council of state : 
that first, they ought to refer matters unto 
them, which is the first begetting or impregna- 
tion; but when they are elaborate, moulded., 
and shaped in the womb of their council, and 
grow ripe and ready to be brought forth, that 
then they suffer not their council to go through 
with the resolution and direction, as if it de- 
pended on them ; but take the matter back 
into their own hands, and make it appear to 
the world, that the decrees and final directions, 
(which, because they come forth with prudence 
and power, are resembled to Pallas armed,) 
proceeded from themselves; and not only from 
their authority, but, (the more to add repu- 
tation to themselves,) from their head and de- 
vice. 

Let us now speak of the inconveniences of 
counsel, and of the remedies. The inconveni- 
ences that have been noted in calling and using 



m 

counsel, are three : first, the revealing of affairs, 
whereby they become less secret: secondly, the 
weakening of the authority of princes, as if 
they were less of themselves : thirdly, the dan- 
ger of being unfaithfully counselled, and more 
for the good of them that counsel, than of 
him that is counselled ; for which inconveni- 
ences, the doctrine of Italy, and practice of 
France in some kings' times, hath introduced 
cabinet councils ; a remedy worse than the dis- 
ease. 

As to secrecy, princes are not bound to 
communicate all matters with all counsellors, 
but may extract and select; neither is it neces- 
sary that he that consulteth what he should 
do should declare what he will do ; but let 
princes beware that the unsecreting of their 
affairs comes not from themselves: and, as 
for cabinet councils, it may be their motto, 
" plenus rimarum sum :" one futile person, that 
maketh it his glory to tell, will do more hurt 
than many that know it their duty to con- 
ceal. It is true there be some affairs which 
require extreme secrecy, which will hardly go 
beyond one or two persons besides the king: 
neither are those counsels unprosperous; for, 

H 



9$, 

besides the secrecy, they commonly go on con* 
stantly in one spirit of direction without dis- 
traction : but then it must be a prudent king, 
such as is able to grind with a hand-mill ; and 
those inward counsellors had need also be wise 
men, and especially true and trusty to the king's 
ends; as it was with king Henry the Seventh of 
England, who in his greatest business imparted 
himself to none, exceptit were to Morton and 
Fox. 

For weakening of authority the fable shew- 
eth the remedy : nay, the majesty of kings is 
rather exalted than diminished when they are 
in the chair of council ; neither was there ever 
prince bereaved of his dependances by his coun- 
cil, except where there hath been either an 
over-greatness in one counsellor, or an over-strict 
combination in divers, which are things soon 
found and holpen. 

For the last inconvenience, that men will 
counsel with an eye to themselves; certainly, 
"non inveniet fidem super terrain, " is meant 
of the nature of times, and not of all particular 
persons. There be that are in nature faithful 
and sincere, and plain and direct, not crafty 
and involved: let princes, above all, draw to. 



99 

themselves such natures. Besides, counsellors 
are not commonly so united, but that one 
^counsellor keepeth centinel over another; so 
that if any do counsel out of faction or private 
ends, it commonly comes to the king's ear : 
but the best remedy is, if princes know their 
counsellors as well as their counsellors know 
Aem: 33D& 

" Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos." 

And, on the other side, counsellors should not 
be too speculative into their sovereign's person. 
The true composition of a counsellor is, rather 
to be skilful in their master's business, than in 
bis nature; for then he is like to advise him, 
and not to feed his humour. It is of singular 
use to princes if they take the opinions of 
their council both separately and together; for 
private opinion is more free, bat opinion before 
others is more reverend. In private, men are 
more bold in their own humours; and in con- 
sort, men are more obnoxious to others' hu- 
mours ; therefore it is good to take both; and 
of the inferior sort, rather in private, to pre- 
serve freedom; of the greater, rather in consort, 
to preserve respect. It is in vain for princes to 



100 

take' counsel concerning matters, if they take 
no counsel likewise concerning persons ; for 
all matters are as dead images ; and the life 
of the execution of affairs rcsteth in the good 
choice of persons: neither is it enough to con- 
sult concerning persons, " secundum genera," 
as in an idea or mathematical description, 
what the kind and character of the person 
should be ; for the greatest errors are committed, 
and the most judgment is shewn, in the choice 
of individuals. It was truly said, " optimi con- 
" siliarii mortui ;" " books will speak plain when 
" counsellors blanch;'' therefore it is good to 
be conversant in them, specially the books of 
such as themselves have been actors upon the 
stage. 

The councils at this day in most places are 
but familiar meetings, where matters are ra- 
ther talked on than debated ; and they run 
too swift to the order or act of council. It 
were better that in causes of weight the 
matter were propounded one day and not 
Spoken to till the next day; "in nocte con- 
" silium:" so was it done in the commission of 
union between Scotland and England, which 
was a grave and orderly assembly. I com- 



101 

mend set days for petitions ; for both it gives 
the suitors more certainty for their attendance, 
and it frees the meetings for matters of estate, 
that they may " hoc agere." In choice of 
committees for ripening business for the coun- 
cil, it is better to choose indifferent persons, 
than to make an indifferency by putting in 
those that are strong on both sides. I com- 
mend also standing commissions; as for trade, 
for treasure, for war, for suits, for some pro- 
vinces ; for where there be divers particular 
councils, and but one council of state, (as it ig 
in Spain,) they are, in effect, no more than 
standing commissions, save that they have 
greater authority. Let such as are to inform 
councils out of their particular professions, (as 
lawyers, seamen, mintmen, and the like,) be 
first heard before committees; and then, as 
occasion serves, before the council; and let 
them not come in multitudes, or in a tribu- 
nitious manner; for that is to clamour coun- 
cils, not to inform them. A long table and 
a square table, or seats about the walls, seem 
things of form, but are things of substance ; 
for at a long table a few at the upper end, in 
effect, sway all the business; but in the other 



102 

form there is more use of the counsellors* 
opinions that sit lower. A king, when he 
presides in council, let him beware how he 
opens his own inclination too much in that 
which he propoundeth ; for else counsellors 
will but take the wind of him, and instead of 
giving free counsel, will sing him a song of 
"placebo/' 



OF DELAYS. 

Fortune is like the market, where many 
times, if you can stay a little, the price will 
fall; and again, it is sometimes like Sibylla's 
offer, which at first ofrereth the commodity at 
•full, then consumeth part and part, and still 
holdeth up the price ; for occasion, (as it is in 
the common verse,) turneth a bald noddle after 
she hath presented her locks in front, and no 
hold taken ; or, at least, turneth the handle of 
the bottle first to be received, and after the 
belly, which is hard to clasp. There is surely 
no greater wisdom than well to time the be- 
ginnings and onsets of things. ' Dangers are no 
more light, if they once seem light; and more 



103 

dangers have deceived men than forced them : 
nay, it were better to meet some dangers half 
way, though they come nothing near, than to 
keep too long a watch upon their approaches ; 
for if a man watch too long, it is odds he will 
fall asleep. On the other side, to be deceived 
with too long shadows, (as some have been 
when the moon was low and shone on their 
enemies' back,) and so to shoot off before the 
time ; or to teach dangers to come on by over- 
early buckling towards them, is another ex- 
treme. The ripeness or unripeness of the oc- 
casion, (as we said,) must ever be well weighed; 
and generally it is good to commit the be- 
ginnings of all great actions to Argos with his 
hundred eyes, and the ends to Briareus with his 
hundred hands ; first to watch, and then to 
speed : for the helmet of Pluto, which maketh 
the politic man go invisible, is secrecy in the 
council, and celerity in the execution ; for when 
things are once come to the execution, there is 
no secrecy comparable to celerity ; like the mo- 
tion of a bullet in the air, which flieth so swift 
as it outruns the eye. 



104 

OF CUNNING. 

We take cunning for a sinister or crooked wis- 
dom ; and, certainly, there is great difference 
between a cunning man and a wise man, not 
only in point of honesty, but in point of abi- 
lity. There be that can pack the cards, and yet 
cannot play well ; so there are some that are 
good in canvasses and factions, that are other- 
wise w r eak men. Again, it is one thing to un- 
derstand persons, and another thing to under- 
stand matters ; for many are perfect in men's 
humours that are not greatly capable of the 
real part of business, which is the constitution 
of one that hath studied men more than books. 
Such men are fitter for practice than for coun- 
sel, and they are good but in their own ally : 
turn them to new men, and they have lost their 
aim ; so as the old rule to know a fool from a 
wise man, " Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, et 
" videbis," doth scarce hold for them ; and, be- 
cause these cunning men are like haberdashers 
of small wares, it is not amiss to set forth their 
.shop. 



105 

It is a point of cunning to wait upon him 
with whom you speak with your eyes, as the 
Jesuits give it in precept ; for there be many 
wise men that have secret hearts and transparent 
countenances : yet this would be done with a 
demure abasing of your eye sometimes, as the 
Jesuits also do use. 

Another is, that when you have any thing 
to obtain of present dispatch, you entertain and 
amuse the party with whom you deal with 
some other discourse, that he be not too much 
awake to make objections. I knew a coun- 
sellor and secretary that never came to queen 
Elizabeth of England with bills to sign, but 
he would always first put her into some dis- 
course of estate, that she might the less mind 
the bills. 

The like surprise may be made by moving 
things when the party is in haste, and cannot 
stay to consider advisedly of that is moved. 

If a man would cross a business that he 
doubts some other would handsomely and ef- 
fectually move, let him pretend to wish it 
well, and move it himself in such sort as may 
foil it. 

The breaking off in the midst of that one 



106 

was about to say, as if he took himself up, breeds 
a greater appetite in him, with whom you con- 
fer, to know more. 

And because it works better when any thing 
seemeth to begotten from you by question, than 
if you offer it of yourself, you may lay a bait 
for a question by shewing another visage and 
countenance tha^ you are wont; to the end, 
to give occasion for the party to ask what the 
matter is of the change, asNehemiah did, " And 
" I had not before that time been sad before the 
" king." 

In things that are tender and unpleasing it 
is good to break the ice by some whose words are 
of less weight, and to reserve the more weighty 
voice to come in as by chance, so that he may 
be asked the question upon the other's speech ; 
as Narcissus did in relating to Claudius the mar- 
riage of Messalina and Silius. 

In things that a man would not be seen in 
himself, it is a point of cunning to borrow the 
name of the world; as to say, " The world says/ 7 
or, " There is a speech abroad." 

I knew one that, when he wrote a letter, he 
would put that which was most material in the 
postscript,, as if it had been a bye-matter. 



107 

I knew another that, when he canV to have 
speech, he would pass over that thay he in- 
tended most; and go forth, and come back 
again, and speak of it as of a thing that he had 
almost forgot. 

Some procure themselves to be surprised at 
such times as it is like the party that they 
work upon will suddenly come upon them, 
and to be found with a letter in their hand, or 
doing somewhat which they are not accustom- 
ed, to the end they may be apposed of those 
things which of themselves they are desirous to 
utter. 

It is a point of cunning to let fall those 
words in a man's own name which he would 
have another man learn and use, and thereupon 
take advantage. I knew two that were com- 
petitors for the secretary's place in queen Eli- 
zabeth's time, and yet kept good quarter be- 
tween themselves, and would confer one with 
another upon the business ; and the one of 
them said, that to be a secretary in the decli- 
nation of a monarchy was a ticklish thing, and 
that he did not affect it : the other straight 
caught up those words, and discoursed with 
divers of his friends,- that he- had no reason to 



108 

desire to be Secretary in the declination of a 
monarchy. The first man took hold of it, and 
found means it was told the queen; who, hear- 
ing of a declination of a monarchy, took it so 
ill, as she would never after hear of the other's 
suit. 

There is a cunning which we in England 
call "The turning of the cat in the pan;'* which 
is, when that which a man says to another, he 
lays it as if another had said it to him ; and to 
say truth, it is not easy, when such a matter 
passed between two, to make it appear from 
which of them it first moved and began. 

It is a way that some men have to glance 
and dart at others by justifying themselves by 
negatives; as to say, " This I do not;" asTigel- 
linus did towards Burrhus, " Se non diversas 
" spes, sed incolumitatem imperatoris simplici- 
u ter spectare." 

Some have in readiness so many tales and 
stories, as there is nothing they would insinu- 
ate, but they can wrap it into a tale; which 
serveth both to keep themselves more on guard, 
and to make others carry it with more plea- 
sure. 

It is a good point of cunning for a man to 



109 

shape the answer he would have in his own 
words and propositions ; for it makes the other 
party stick the less. 

It is strange how long some men will lie in 
wait to speak somewhat they desire to say; and 
how far about they will fetch, and how many 
other matters they will beat over to come near 
it: it is a thing of great patience, but yet of 
much use. 

A sudden, bold, and unexpected question 
doth many times surprise a man, and lay him 
open. Like to him, that, having changed his 
name, and walking in Paul's, another suddenly 
came behind him and called him by his true 
name, whereat straightways he looked back. 

But these small wares and petty points of 
cunning are infinite, and it were a good deed 
to make a list of them ; for that nothing doth 
more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass 
for wise. 

But certainly some there are that know the 
resorts and falls of business, that cannot sink 
into the main of it ; like a house that hath 
convenient stairs and entries, but never a fair 
room : therefore you shall see them find out 
pretty looses in the conclusion, but are no ways 



110 

able to examine or debate matters ; and yet 
commonly they take advantage of their inabi- 
lity, and would be thought wits of direction. 
Some build rather upon the abusing of others, 
and, (as we now say,) putting tricks upon 
them, than upon soundness of their own pro- 
ceedings : but Solomon saith, " Prudens ad- 
" vertit ad gressus suos : stultus divertit ad. 
" dolos." 



OF WISDOM FOR A MAN'S SELF. 

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is 
a. shrewd thing in an orchard or garden ; and, 
certainly, men that are great lovers of them- 
selves waste the public. Divide with reason 
between self-love and society ; and be so true 
to thyself, as thou be not false to others, espe- 
cially to thy king and country. It is a poor 
centre of a man's actions, himself. It is right 
earth ; for that only stands fast upon his own 
centre; whereas all things that have affinity 
with the heavens, move upon the centre of , 
another which they benefit. The referring of 



Ill 

all to a man's self, is more tolerable in a sove-. 
reign prince, because themselves are not only . 
themselves, but their good and evil is at the 
peril of the public fortune : but it is a despe- 
rate evil in a servant to a prince, or a citizen 
in a republic ; for whatsoever affairs pass such 
a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own < 
ends ; which must needs be often eccentric to 
the ends of his master or state : therefore let ; 
princes or states choose such servants as have 
not this mark ; except they mean their service 
should be made but the accessary. That which 
maketh the effect more pernicious is, that all 
proportion is lost; it were disproportion enough 
for the servant's good, to be preferred before 
the master's; but yet it is a greater extreme, 
when a little good of the servant shall carry 
things against a great good of the master's: 
and yet that is the case of bad officers, trea- 
surers, ambassadors, generals, and other false 
and corrupt servants; which set a bias upon 
their bowl of their own petty ends and envies, 
to the overthrow of their masters' great and 
important affairs : and for the most part, the 
good such servants receive is after the model 
of their own fortune ; but the hurt they sell 



112 

for that good is after the model of their ma- 
sters' fortune : and certainly it is the nature of 
extreme self-lovers, as they will set an house on 
lire, and it were but to roast their eggs ; and yet 
these men many times hold credit with their 
masters, because their study is but to please 
them, and profit themselves ; and for either 
respect they will abandon the good of their 
affairs. 

Wisdom for a man's self is in many branches 
thereof a depraved thing : it is the wisdom of 
rats, that will be sure to leave a house some- 
what before it fall : it is the wisdom of the fox, 
that thrusts out the badger, who digged and 
made room for him : it is the wisdom of croco- 
diles, that shed tears when they would devour. 
But that which is specially to be noted is, that 
those which, (as Cicero says of Pompey,) are, 
" sui amantes sine rivali," are many times un- 
fortunate : and whereas they have all their time 
sacrificed to themselves, they become in the end 
themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy of for- 
tune, whose wings they thought by their self- 
wisdom to have pinioned. 



113 



OF INNOVATIONS. 

As the births of living creatures at first are ill 
shapen, so are all innovations, which are the 
births of time ; yet, notwithstanding, as those 
that first bring honour into their family are 
commonly more worthy than most that succeed, 
so the first precedent, (if it be good,) is seldom 
attained by imitation; for ill, to man's nature 
as it stands perverted, hath a natural motion 
strongest in continuance ; but good, as a forced 
motion, strongest at first. Surely every medicine 
is an innovation, and he that will not apply new 
remedies must expect new evils ; for time is the 
greatest innovator : and if time of course alter 
things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel 
shall not alter them to the better, what shall 
be the end ? It is true, that what is settled by 
custom, though it be not good, yet at least it 
is fit : and those things which have long gone 
together, are, as it were, confederate within 
themselves ; whereas new things piece not so 
well ; but, though they help by their utility, 
yet they trouble by their inconformity : besides, 
they are like strangers, more admired, and less 

i 



114 

favoured. All this is true if time stood still ; 
which contrariwise moveth so round, that a fro- 
ward retention of custom is as turbulent a thing 
as an innovation ; and they that reverence too 
much old times are but a scorn to the new. It 
/'were good, therefore, that men in their inno- 
vations would follow the example of time itself, 
which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly 
and by degrees scarce to be perceived ; for other- 
wise, whatsoever is new is unlocked for; and 
ever it mends some, and pairs others : and he 
that is holpen takes it for a fortune, and thanks 
the time; and he that is hurt for a wrong, and 
imputeth it to the author. It is good also not 
to try experiments in states, except the necessity 
be urgent, or the utility evident ; and well to 
beware that it be the reformation that draweth 
on the change, and not the desire of change 
that pretendeth the reformation; and, lastly, 
that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet 
beheld for a suspect; and, as the Scripture saith, 
" That we make a stand upon the ancient way, 
" and then look about us, and discover what is 
" the straight and right way, and so to walk 
4 < in it." 



115 



OF DISPATCH. 

Affected dispatch is one of the most danger- 
ous things to business that can be ; it is like- 
that which the physicians call predigestion, or 
hasty digestion ; which is sure to fill the body 
full of crudities, and secrete seeds of diseases : 
therefore measure not dispatch by the times of 
sitting, but by the advancement of the business : 
and as, in races, it is not the large stride, or 
high lift, that makes the speed ; so, in business, 
the keeping close to the matter, and not taking 
of it too much at once, procureth dispatch. It 
is the care of some only to come off speedily 
for the time, or to contrive some false periods 
of business, because they may seem men of di- 
spatch : but it is one thing to abbreviate by con- 
tracting, another by cutting off ; and business 
so handled at several sittings or meetings goeth 
commonly backward and forward in an un- 
steady manner. I knew a wise man that had it 
for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a 
conclusion, " Stay a little, that we may make an 
" end the sooner." 



116 

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich 
thing : for time is the measure of business, as 
money is of wares ; and business is bought at a 
dear hand where there is small dispatch. The 
Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be 
of small dispatch, " Mi venga la muerte de 
" Spagna ; v " Let my death come from Spain;" 
for then it will be sure to be long in coming. 

Give good hearing to those that give the first 
information in business, and rather direct them 
in the beginning than interrupt them in the 
continuance of their speeches ; for he that is put 
out of his own order will go forward and back- 
ward, and be more tedious while he waits upon 
his memory, than he could have been if he had 
gone on in his own course : but sometimes it is 
seen, that the moderator is more troublesome 
than the actor. 

Iterations are commonly loss of time : but 
there is no such gain of time as to iterate often 
the state of the question ; for it chaseth away 
many frivolous speeches as it is coming forth. 
Long and curious speeches are as fit for dispatch 
as a robe or mantle with a long train is for 
race. Prefaces, and passages, and excusations, 
and other speeches of reference to the person, 



117 

are great wastes of time ; and though they seem 
to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet 
beware of being too material when there is any 
impediment or obstruction in men's wills ; for 
pre-occupation of mind ever requireth preface of 
speech, like a fomentation to make the unguent 
enter. 

Above all things, order, and distribution, 
and singling out of parts, is the life of dispatch ; 
so as the distribution be not too subtile : for he 
that doth not divide will never enter well into 
business; and he that divideth too much will 
never come out of it clearlv. To choose time 
is to save time ; and an unseasonable motion is 
but beating the air. There be three parts of 
business, the preparation, the debate or exami- 
nation, and the perfection; whereof, if you look 
for dispatch, let the middle only be the work 
of many, and the first and last the work of 
few. The proceeding upon somewhat con- 
ceived in writing doth for the most part facili- 
tate dispatch ; for though it should be wholly 
rejected, yet that negative is more pregnant of 
direction than an indefinite, as ashes are more 
generative than dust. 



18 



OF SEEMING WISE. 

It hath been an opinion that the French are 
wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem 
wiser than they are : but howsoever it be be- 
tween nations, certainly it is so between man 
and man; for as the apostle saith of godliness, 
" Having a shew of godliness, but denying the 
" power thereof ;'■ so certainly there are in 
points of wisdom and sufficiency, that do no- 
thing or little very solemnly ; " magno conatu 
" nugas." It is a ridiculous thing, and fit for 
a satire to persons of judgment, to see what 
shifts these formalists have, and what prospec- 
tives to make superficies to seem body that 
hath depth and bulk. Some are so close and 
reserved as they will not shew their wares but 
by a dark light, and seem always to keep back 
somewhat ; and when they know within them- 
selves they speak of that they do not well 
know, would nevertheless seem to others to 
know of that which they may not well speak. 
Some help themselves with countenance and 
gesture, and are wise by signs ; as Cicero saith 



119 

of Piso, that, when he answered him, he fetched 
one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent 
the other down to his chin ; " Respondes, al- 
" tero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mentum 
u depresso supercilio, crudelitatem tibi non 
" placere." Some think to bear it by speaking 
a great word, and being peremptory; and go 
on, and take by admittance that which they 
cannot make good. Some, whatsoever is be- 
yond their reach, will seem to despise or make 
light of it as impertinent or curious; and so 
would have their ignorance seem judgment. 
Some are never without a difference, and com- 
monly by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch 
the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, " Ho- 
" minem deli rum, qui verborum minutiis re- 
" rum frangit pondera." Of w r hich kind also 
Plato in his Protagoras bringeth in Prodicus in 
scorn, and maketh him make a speech that 
consisteth of distinctions from the beginning 
to the end. Generally such men in all de- 
liberations find ease to be of the negative 
side, and affect a credit to object and foretell 
difficulties : for when propositions are denied, 
there is an end of them ; but if they be allow- 
ed, it requireth a new work ; which false point 



120 

of wisdom is the bane of business. To. con- 
clude, there is no decaying merchant, or in- 
ward beggar, hath so man)' tricks to uphold the 
credit of their wealth as these empty persons 
have to maintain the credit of their suffici- 
ency. Seeming wise men may make shift to 
get opinion ; but let no man choose them for 
employment; for certainly you were better 
take for business a man somewhat absurd than 
over-formal. 



OF FRIENDSHIP. 

It had been hard for him that spake it to 
have put more truth and untruth together in 
few words than in that speech, " Whosoever 
" is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast 
" or a god ;" for it is most true, that a natural 
and secret hatred and aversation towards so- 
ciety in any man hath somewhat of the savage 
beast ; but it is most untrue, that it should have 
any character at all of the divine nature, ex- 
cept it proceed, not out of a pleasure in soli- 
tude, but out of a love and desire to sequester 
a man's self for a higher conversation : such as 



121 

is found to have been falsely and feignedly in 
some of the heathen; as Epimenides the Can- 
dian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sici- 
lian, and Apollonius of Tyana; and truly and 
really in divers of the ancient hermits, and holy 
fathers of the church. But little do men per- 
ceive what solitude is, and how far it extend- 
eth; for a crowd is not company, and faces are 
but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling 
cymbal where there is no love. The Latin 
adage meeteth with it a little ; " magna civitas, 
" magna solitudo;" because in a great town 
friends are scattered, so that there is not that 
fellowship, for the most part, which is in less 
neighbourhoods: but we may go farther, and 
affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable 
solitude to want true friends, without which 
the world is but a wilderness ; and even in this 
sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame 
of his nature and affections is unfit for friend- 
ship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from 
humanity. 

A principal fruit of friendship is the case 
and discharge of the fulness of the heart, 
which passions of all kinds do cause and in- 
duce. We know diseases of stoppings and 



122 

suffocations are the most dangerous in the body ; 
and it is not much otherwise in the mind : you 
may take sarza to open the liver, steel to open 
the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, 
castoreum for the brain; but no receipt open- 
eth the heart but a true friend, to whom you 
may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspi- 
cions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the 
heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or 
confession. 

It is a strange thing to observe how high 
a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon 
this fruit of friendship whereof we speak ; so 
great, as they purchase it many times at the 
hazard of their own safety and greatness: for 
princes, in regard of the distance of their for- 
tune from that of their subjects and servants, 
cannot gather this fruit, except, (to make 
themselves capable thereof,) they raise some 
persons to be as it were companions and almost 
equals to themselves, which many times sorteth 
to inconvenience. The modern languages give 
unto such persons the name of favourites, or 
privadoes, as if it were matter of grace or 
conversation; but the Roman name attaineth 
the true use and cause thereof, naming them 



123 

"■' participes curarum;" for it is that which 
tieth the knot: and we see plainly that this 
hath been done, not by weak and passionate 
princes only, but by the wisest and most poli- 
tic that" ever reigned, who have oftentimes 
joined to themselves some of their servants, 
whom both themselves have called friends, and 
allowed others likewise to call them in the 
same manner, using the word which is received 
between private men. 

L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised 
Pompey, (after surnamed the Great,) to that 
height, that Pompey vaunted himself for 
Sylla' s over-match; for when he had carried 
the consulship for a friend of his against the 
pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little 
resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pom- 
pey turned upon him again, and in effect bade 
him be quiet; for that more men adored the 
sun rising than the sun setting. With Julius 
Caesar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that in- 
terest, as he set him down in his testament for 
heir in remainder after his nephew; and this 
was the man that had power with him to draw 
him forth to his death ; for when Caesar would 
have discharged the senate in regard of some 



124 

ill presages, and specially a dream of Calphur- 
nia, this man lifted him gently by the arm out 
of his chair, telling him he hoped he would not 
dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamed a 
better dream : and it seemeth his favour was 
so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is re- 
cited verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, 
called him " venefica," " witch;" as if he had 
enchanted Caesar. Augustus raised Agrippa, 
(though of mean birth,) to that height, as, 
when he consulted with Maecenas about the 
marriage of his daughter Julia, Maecenas took 
the liberty to tell him, that he must either 
marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take awaj* - 
his life; there was no third way, he had 
made him so great. With Tiberius Caesar, 
Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they 
two were termed and reckoned as a pair of 
friends. Tiberius, in a letter to him, saith, 
" haec pro amicitia nostra non occultavi;" and 
the whole senate dedicated an altar to friend- 
ship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great 
dearness of friendship between them two. 
The like, or more, was between Septimius 
Severus and Plautianus; for he forced his 
eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus, 



125 

and would often maintain Plautianus in doing 
affronts to his son: and did write also in a 
letter to the senate by these words, " I love 
" the man so well, as I wish he may over-live 
" me." Now, if these princes had been as a 
Trajan, or a Marcus Aurelius, a man might 
have thought that this had proceeded of an 
abundant goodness of nature ; but being men 
so wise, of such strength and severity of mind, 
and so extreme lovers of themselves, as all 
these were, it proveth most plainly that they 
found their own felicity, (though as great as 
ever happened to mortal men,) but as an half 
piece, except they might have a friend to 
make it entire; and yet, which is more, they 
were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; 
and yet all these could not supply the comfort 
of friendship. 

It is not to be forgotten what Commineus 
observeth of his first master, duke Charles the 
Hardy, namely, that he would communicate 
his secrets with none; and least of all, those 
secrets which troubled him most. Whereupon 
he goeth on, and saith, that towards his latter 
time that closeness did impair and a little 
perish his understanding. Surely Commineus 



12(5 

might have made the same judgment also, if it 
had pleased him, of his second master, Lewis 
the Eleventh, whose closeness was indeed his 
tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras is dark, 
but true; " cor ne edito," " eat not the heart/' 
Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, 
those that want friends to open themselves 
unto are cannibals of their own hearts : but 
one thing is most admirable, (wherewith I will 
conclude this first fruit of friendship,) which 
is, that this communicating of a man's self to 
his friend works two contrary effects; for it 
redouble th joys, and cutteth griefs in halves : 
for there is no man that imparteth his joys to 
his friend, but he joyeth the more; so no 
man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, 
but he grieveth the less. So that it is, in truth, 
of operation upon a man's mind of like virtue 
as the alchymists use to attribute to their stone 
for man's body, that it worketh all contrary 
effects, but still to the good and benefit of na- 
ture: but yet, without praying in aid of al- 
chymists, there is a manifest image of this in 
the ordinary course of nature ; for in bodies 
union strengthened and cherisheth any na- 
tural action; and, on the other side, weakeneth 



and dulleth any violent impression ; and even 
so is it of minds. 

The second fruit of friendship is healthful 
and sovereign for the understanding as the 
first is for the affections; for friendship maketh 
indeed a fair day in the affections from storm 
and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the 
understanding out of darkness and confusion 
of thoughts: neither is this to be understood 
only of faithful counsel, which a man receiveth 
from his friend; but before you come to that, 
certain it is, that whosoever hath his mind 
fraught with man}* thoughts, his wits and un- 
derstanding do clarify and break up in the 
communicating and discoursing with another; 
he tosseth his thoughts more easily; he mar- 
shalleth them more orderly; he seeth how 
they look when they are turned into words; 
finally, he waxeth wiser than himself; and 
that more by an hour's discourse than by a 
day's meditation. It was well said by The- 
raistocles to the King of Persia, " That speech 
" was like cloth of Arras, opened and put 
" abroad:" whereby the imagery doth appear 
in figure ; whereas in thoughts they lie but as 
in packs. Neither is this second fruit of friend- 



128 

ship in opening the understanding, restrained 
only to such friends as are able to give a man 
counsel, (they indeed are best,) but even with- 
out that a man learneth of himself, and bringeth 
his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his 
wits as against a stone which itself cuts not. 
In a word, a man were better relate himself to 
a statue or picture than to suffer his thoughts 
to pass in smother. 

Add now, to make this second fruit of 
friendship complete, that other point which 
lieth more open and falleth within vulgar 
observation ; which is faithful counsel from a 
friend. Heraclitus saith well in one of his 
enigmas, " Dry light is ever the best :" and 
certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth 
by counsel from another is drier and purer than 
that which cometh from his own understand- 
ing and judgment; which is ever infused and 
drenched in his affections and customs. So as 
there is as much difference between the counsel 
that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth 
himself, as there is between the counsel of a 
friend and of a flatterer ; for there is no such 
flatterer as is a man's self, and there is no such 
remedy against flattery of a man's self as the 



129 

liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts; 
the one concerning manners, the other con- 
cerning business: for the first, the best pre- 
servative to keep the mind in health is the 
faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of 
a man's self to a strict account is a medicine 
sometimes too piercing and corrosive; read- 
ing good books of morality is a little flat 
and dead ; observing our faults in others is 
sometimes improper for our case; but the best 
receipt, (best I say to work, and best to take,) 
is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange 
thing to behold what gross errors and extreme 
absurdities many, (especially of the greater 
sort,) do commit for want of a friend to tell 
them of them, to the great damage both of 
their fame and fortune ; for, as St. James saith, 
they are as men " that look sometimes into 
" a glass and presently forget their own shape 
" and favour :" as for business, a man may 
think, if he will, that two eyes see no more 
than one; or, that a gamester seeth always 
more than a looker on; or, that a man in 
anger is as wise as he that hath said over the 
four and twenty letters; or, that a musket 
may be shot off as well upon the arm as upon 

K 



130 

a rest ; and such other fond and high imagi- 
nations to think himself all in all: but when 
all is done, the help of good counsel is that 
which setteth business straight; and if any 
man think that he will take counsel, but it 
shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one 
business of one man, and in another business 
of another man; it is well, (that is to say, 
better perhaps than if he asked none at all,) 
but he runneth two dangers ; one, that he shall 
not be faithfully counselled; for it is a rare 
thing, except it be from a perfect and entire 
friend, to h&ve counsel given, but such as shall 
be bowed and crooked to some ends which he 
hath that giveth it: the other, that he shall 
have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe, (though 
with good meaning,) and mixt partly of mis- 
chief and partly of remedy; even as if you 
would call a physician that is thought good 
for the cure of the disease you complain of, 
but is unacquainted with your body ; and, 
therefore, may put you in a way for a present 
cure, but overthroweth your health in some 
other kind, and so cure the disease and kill 
the patient : but a friend that is wholly ac- 
quainted with a man's estate, will beware, by 



131 

furthering any present business, how he dash- 
eth upon other inconvenience ; and, there- 
fore, rest not upon scattered counsels; they 
will rather distract and mislead, than settle and 
direct. 

After these two noble fruits of friendship, 
(peace in the affections and support of the 
judgment,) followeth the last fruit, which is, 
like the pomegranate, full of many kernels; I 
mean aid and bearing a part in all actions and 
occasions. Here the best way to represent to 
life the manifold use of friendship is to cast 
and see how many things there are which a 
man cannot do himself; and then it will ap- 
pear that it was a sparing speech of the an- 
cients to say, U that a friend is another him- 
" self; for that a friend is far more than him- 
" self/' Men have their time, and die many 
times in desire of some things which they 
principally take to heart; the bestowing of a 
child, the finishing of a work, or the like. 
If a man have a true friend he may rest almost 
secure that the care of those things will con- 
tinue after him; so that a man hath, as it 
were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a 
body, and that body is confined to a place ; but 



132 

where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it 
were, granted to him and his deputy ; for he 
may exercise them by his friend. How many 
things are there which a man cannot with any 
face or comeliness say or do himself? A man 
can scarce allege his own merits with mo- 
desty, much less extol them; a man cannot 
sometimes brook to supplicate or beg; and a 
number of the like: but all these things are 
graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blush- 
ing in a man's own. So again, a man's person 
hath many proper relations which he cannot 
put off. A man cannot speak to his son but 
as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to 
his enemy but upon terms : whereas a friend 
may speak as the case requires, and not as it 
sorteth to the person: but to enumerate these 
things were endless ; I have given the rule 
where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if 
he have not a friend he may quit the stage. 



133 



OF EXPENSE, 

Riches are for spending, and spending for ho- 
nour and good actions ; therefore extraordinary 
expense must be limited by the worth of the 
occasion: for voluntary undoing may be as 
well for a man's country as for the kingdom 
of heaven; but ordinary expense ought to be 
limited by a man's estate, and governed with 
such regard as it be within his compass : and 
not subject to deceit and abuse of servants; and 
ordered to the best shew, that the bills may be 
less than the estimation abroad. Certainly, if 
a man will keep but of even hand, his ordi- 
nary expenses ought to be but to the half of 
his receipts ; and if he think to wax rich, but 
to the third part. It is no baseness for the 
greatest to descend and look into their own 
estate. Some forbear it, not upon negligence 
alone, but doubting to bring themselves into 
melancholy, in respect they shall find it broken: 
but wounds cannot be cured without searching. 
He that cannot look into his own estate at ail 
had need both choose well those whom he 



13* 

employeth, and change them often; for new 
are more timorous and less subtile. He that 
can look into his estate but seldom, it be- 
hoveth him to turn all to certainties. A man 
had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of ex- 
pense, to be as saving again in some other: as 
if he be plentiful in diet, to be saving in ap- 
parel ; if he be plentiful in the hall, to be 
saving in the stable, and the like: for he that is 
plentiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be 
preserved from decay. In clearing of a man's 
estate he may as well hurt himself in being 
too sudden, as in letting it run on too long ; 
for hasty selling is commonly as disadvari- 
tageable as interest. Besides, he that clears aV 
once will relapse; for, finding himself out of 
straits, he will revert to his customs : but he 
that cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of 
frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind 
as upon his estate. Certainly, who hath a state 
to repair may not despise small things ; and, 
commonly, it is less dishonourable to abridge 
petty charges than to stoop to petty gettings. 
A man ought warily to begin charges, which 
once begun will continue ; but in matters that 
return not he may be more magnificent. 



135 



ON THE TRUE GREATNESS OF KING- 
DOMS AND ESTATES. 

The speech of Themistocles the Athenian, 
which was haughty and arrogant in taking 
so much to himself, had been a grave and wise 
observation and censure, applied at large to 
others. Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he 
said, " he could not riddle, but yet he could 
u make a small town a great city." These 
words, (holpen a little with a metaphor,) may 
express two differing abilities in those that 
deal in business of estate ; for, if a true survey 
be taken of counsellors and statesmen, there 
may be found, (though rarely,) those which 
can make a small state great, and yet cannot 
fiddle: as, on the other side, there will be 
found a great many that can fiddle very cun- 
ningly, but yet are so far from being able to 
make a small state great, as their gift lieth the 
other way; to bring a great and flourishing 
estate to ruin and decay : and, certainly, those 
degenerate arts and shifts, whereby many 
counsellors and governors gain both favour 



136 

with their masters and estimation with the 
vulgar, deserve no better name than fiddling ; 
being things rather pleasing for the time, and 
graceful to themselves only, than tending to 
the weal and advancement of the state which 
they serve. There are also, (no doubt,) coun- 
sellors and governors which may be held suf- 
ficient, " negotiis pares," able to manage af- 
fairs, and to keep them from precipices and 
manifest inconveniences ; which, nevertheless, 
are far from the ability to raise and amplify an 
estate in power, means, and fortune : but be 
the workmen what they may be, let us speak 
of the work ; that is, the true greatness of 
kingdoms and estates ; and the means thereof. 
An argument fit for great and mighty princes 
to have in their hand ; to the end, that neither 
by over-measuring their forces they lose them- 
selves in vain enterprises ; nor, on the other 
side, by undervaluing them, they descend to 
fearful and pusillanimous counsels. 

The greatness of an estate in bulk and 
territory doth fall under measure ; and the 
greatness of finances and revenue doth fall 
under computation. The population may ap- 
pear by musters ; and the number and great- 



137 

ness of cities and towns by cards arid maps : 
but yet there is not any thing, amongst civil 
affairs, more subject to error than the right 
valuation and true judgment concerning the 
power and forces of an estate. The kingdom 
of heaven is compared, not to any great kernel 
or nut, but to a grain of mustard seed ; which 
is one of the least grains, but hath in it a pro- 
perty and spirit hastily to get up and spread. 
So are there states great in territory, and yet 
not apt to enlarge or command; and some 
that have but a small dimension of stem, and 
yet apt to be the foundations of great mon- 
archies. 

Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories, 
goodly races of horses, chariots of war, ele- 
phants, ordnance, artillery, and the like; all 
this is but a sheep in a lion's skin, except the 
breed and disposition of the people be stout and 
warlike. Nay, number itself in armies im- 
porteth not much, where the people is of weak 
courage; for, as Virgil saith, "It never trou- 
" bles a wolf how many the sheep be/' The 
army of the Persians, in the plains of Arbela, 
was such a vast sea of people as it did some- 
what astonish the commanders in Alexander's 



138 

army, who came to him therefore, and wished 
him to set upon them by night ; but he an- 
swered, he would not pilfer the victory ; and 
the defeat was easy. When Tigranes the 
Armenian, being encamped upon a hill with 
four hundred thousand men, discovered the 
army of the Romans, being not above four teen- 
thousand, marching towards him, he made him- 
self merry with it, and said, " Yonder men are 
" too many for an embassage, and too few for 
" a fight :" but before the sun set he found 
them enow to give him the chace with infinite 
slaughter. Many are the examples of the great 
odds between number and courage : so that a 
man may truly make a judgment, that the 
principal point of greatness in any state is to 
have a race of military men. Neither is money 
the sinews of war, (as it is trivially said,) 
where the sinews of men's arms in base and 
effeminate people are failing; for Solon said 
well to Croesus, (when in ostentation he shew- 
ed him his gold,) " Sir, if any other come 
" that hath better iron than you, he will be 
46 master of all this gold." Therefore let any 
prince or state think soberly of his forces, ex- 
cept his militia of natives be of good and 



139 

valiant soldiers ; and let princes, on the other 
side, that have subjects of martial disposition, 
know their own strength, unless they be other- 
wise wanting unto themselves. As for mer- 
cenary forces, (which is the help in this case,) 
all examples shew that, whatsoever estate or 
prince doth rest upon them, he may spread his 
feathers for a time, but he will mew them soon 
after. 

The blessing of Judah and Issachar will 
never meet; that the same people or nation 
should be both the lion's whelp and the ass 
between burdens : neither will it be, that a 
people overlaid with taxes should ever become 
valiant and martial. It is true that taxes 
levied by consent of the estate do abate men's 
courage less ; as it hath been seen notably in 
the exercises of the Low Countries ; and, in 
some degree, in the subsidies of England : for 
you must note that we speak now of the 
heart and not of the purse ; so that, although 
the same tribute and tax, laid by consent or 
by imposing, be all one to the purse, yet it works 
diversely upon the courage. So that you may 
conclude, that no people overcharged with tri- 
bute is fit for empire. 



140 

Let states that aim at greatness take heed 
how their nobility and gentlemen do multiply- 
too fast ; for that maketh the common subject 
grow to be a peasant and base swain, driven 
out of heart, and, in effect, but a gentleman's 
labourer. Even as you may see in coppice 
woods ; if you leave your staddles too thick, 
you shall never have clean underwood, but 
shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the 
gentlemen be too many, the commons will be 
base ; and you will bring it to that, that not 
the hundred poll will be fit for an helmet; 
especially as to the infantry, which is the 
nerve of an army : and so there will be great 
population and little strength. This which I 
speak of hath been no where better seen than 
by comparing of England and France; whereof 
England, though far less in territory and po- 
pulation, hath been, nevertheless, an over- 
match ; in regard the middle people of Eng- 
land make good soldiers, which the peasants 
of France do not: and herein the device of 
king Henry the Seventh, (whereof I have 
spoken largely in the history of his life,) was 
profound and admirable ; in making farms and 
houses of husbandry of a standard; that is, 



141 

maintained with such a proportion of land unto 
them as may breed a subject to live in conve- 
nient plenty, and no servile condition ; and tp 
keep the plough in the hands of the owners, 
and not mere hirelings : and thus indeed you 
shall attain to Virgil's character which he gives 
to ancient Italy : 

" Terra potens armis atque ubere glebse." 

■i 

Neither is that state, (which, for any thing I 
know, is almost peculiar to England, and hardly 
to be found any where else, except it be per- 
haps in Poland,) to be passed over; I mean 
the state of free servants and attendants upon 
noblemen and gentlemen, which are no ways 
inferior unto the yeomanry for arms ; and 
therefore, out of all question, the splendor and 
.magnificence, and great retinues, and hospi- 
tality of noblemen and gentlemen received into 
custom, do much conduce unto martial great- 
ness : whereas, contrariwise, the close and re- 
served living of noblemen and gentlemen causeth 
a penury of military forces. 

By all means it is to be procured, that the 
trunk of Nebuchadnezzar's tree of monarchy 
be great enough to bear the branches and the 



142 

boughs; that is, that the natural subjects of 
the crown or state bear a sufficient proportion 
to the stranger subjects that they govern ; 
therefore all states that are liberal of natura- 
lization towards strangers are fit for empire : 
for to think that an handful of people can, with 
the greatest courage and policy in the world, 
embrace too large extent of dominion, it may 
hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly. The 
Spartans were a nice people in point of natu- 
ralization ; whereby, while they kept their 
compass, they stood firm ; but when they did 
spread, and their boughs were become too 
great for their stem, they became a windfall 
upon the sudden. Never any state was, in 
this point, so open to receive strangers into 
their body as were the Romans; therefore it 
sorted with them accordingly, for they grew 
to the greatest monarchy. Their manner was 
to grant naturalization, (which they called 
" jus civitatis,") and to grant it in the highest 
degree, that is, not only " jus commercii, jus 
" connubii, jus hoereditatis f but also, "jus 
" suffragii, and jus honorum ;* and this not to 
singular persons alone, but likewise to whole 
families ; yea, to cities, and sometimes to na- 



143 

tions. Add to this, their custom of plantation 
of colonies, whereby the Roman plant was 
removed into the soil of other nations; and, 
putting both constitutions together, you will 
say, that it was not the Romans that spread 
upon the world, but it was the world that 
spread upon the Romans ; and that was the 
sure way of greatness. I have marvelled 
sometimes at Spain, how they clasp and con- 
tain so large dominions with so few natural 
Spaniards : but sure the whole compass of 
Spain is a very great body of a tree, far above 
Rome and Sparta at the first ; and, besides, 
though they have not had that usage to natu- 
ralize liberally, yet they have that which is 
next to it ; that is, to employ, almost indiffe- 
rently, all nations in their militia of ordinary 
commands; yea, and sometimes in their highest 
soldiers : nay, it seemeth at this instant, they 
are sensible of this want of natives, as by 
the pragmatical sanction, now published, ap- 
peareth. 

It is certain, that sedentary and within-door 
arts, and delicate manufactures, (that require 
rather the finger than the arm,) have in their 
nature a contrariety to a military disposition ; 



144 

and generally all warlike people are a little 
idle, and love danger better than travail ; nei- 
ther must they be too much broken of it, if 
they shall be preserved in vigour : therefore it 
was great advantage in the ancient states of 
Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others, that they 
had the use of slaves, which commonly did rid 
those manufactures ; but that is abolished, in 
greatest part, by the Christian law. That which 
cometh nearest to it is, to leave those arts 
chiefly to strangers, (which for that purpose 
are the more easily to be received,) and to 
contain the principal bulk of the vulgar na- 
tives within those three kinds, tillers of the 
ground, free servants, and handicraftsmen of 
strong and manly arts ; as smiths, masons, 
carpenters, &c. not reckoning professed sol- 
diers. 

But, above all, for empire and greatness it 
importeth most, that a nation do profess arms 
as their principal honour, study, and occupa- 
tion; for the things which we formerly have 
spoken of are but habilitations towards arms ; 
and what is habilitation without intention and 
act ? Romulus, after his death, (as they report 
or feign,) sent a present to the Romans, that 



145 

above all they should intend arms, and then 
they should prove the greatest empire of the 
world. The fabric of the state of Sparta was 
wholly, (though not wisely,) framed and com- 
posed to that scope and end ; the Persians 
and Macedonians had it for a flash ; the 
Gauls, Germans, Goths, Saxons, Normans, and 
others, had it for a time ; the Turks have it 
at this day, though in great declination. Of 
Christian Europe they that have it are, in 
effect, only the Spaniards: but it is so plain, 
that every man profiteth in that he most in- 
tendeth, that it needeth not to be stood upon: 
it is enough to point at it ; that no nation 
which doth not directly profess arms may 
look to have greatness fall into their mouths : 
and, on the other side, it is a most certain 
oracle of time, that those states that continue 
long in that profession, (as the Romans and 
Turks principally have done,) do wonders; 
and those that have professed arms but for an 
age have, notwithstanding, commonly attained 
that greatness in that age which maintained 
them long after, when their profession and ex- 
ercise of arms hath grown to decay. 

Incident to this point is for a state to have 



146 

those laws or customs which may reach forth 
unto them just occasions, (as may be pretend- 
ed,) of war ; for there is that justice imprinted 
in the nature of men, that they enter not upon 
wars, (whereof so many calamities do ensue,) 
but upon some, at the least specious, grounds 
and quarrels. The Turk hath at hand, for 
cause of war, the propagation of his law or 
sect, a quarrel that he may always command. 
The Romans, though they esteemed the ex- 
tending the limits of their empire to be great 
honour to their generals when it was done, 
yet they never rested upon that alone to begin 
a war : first, therefore, let nations that pretend 
to greatness have this, that they be sensible of 
wrongs, either upon borderers, merchants, or 
politic ministers, and that they sit not too long 
upon a provocation ; secondly, let them be 
pressed and ready to give aids and succours to 
their confederates, as it ever was with the 
Romans ; insomuch, as if the confederates had 
leagues defensive with divers other states, and 
upon invasion offered did implore their aids 
severally, yet the Romans would ever be the 
foremost, and leave it to none other to have 
the honour. As for the wars which were 



147 

anciently made on the behalf of a kind of 
party, or tacite conformity of estate, I do 
not see how they may be well justified : as 
when the Romans made a war for the liberty 
of Graecia ; or, when the Lacedaemonians and 
Athenians made wars to set up or pull down 
democracies and oligarchies ; or, when wars 
were made by foreigners under the pretence of 
justice or protection, to deliver the subjects of 
others from tyranny and oppression^ and the 
like. Let it suffice, that no estate expect to 
be great that is not awake upon any just oc- 
casion of arming. 

No body can be healthful without exercise, 
neither natural body nor politic : and, cer- 
tainly, to a kingdom or estate a just and ho- 
nourable war is the true exercise. A civil 
war, indeed, is like the heat of a fever ; but 
a foreign war is like the heat of exercise, and 
serveth to keep the body in health ; for in a 
slothful peace both courages will effeminate, 
and manners corrupt : but howsoever it be for 
happiness, without all question for greatness, 
it maketh to be still for the most part in arms ; 
and the strength of a veteran army, (though 
it be a chargeable business,) always on foot, is 



148 

that which commonly giveth the law; or, at 
least, the reputation amongst all neighbour 
states, as may be well seen in Spain; which 
hath had, in one part or other, a veteran army 
almost continually, now by the space of sixscore 
years. 

To be master of the sea is an abridgment 
of a monarchy. Cicero, writing to Atticus of 
Pompey his preparation against Caesar, saith, 
" Consilium Pompeii plane Themistocleum est; 
" putat enim, qui mari potitur, eum rerum 
" potiri •" and, without doubt, Pompey had 
tired out Caesar, if upon vain confidence he 
had not left that way. We see the great 
effects of battles by sea : the battle of Actium 
decided the empire of the world ; the battle of 
Lepanto arrested the greatness of the Turk. 
There be many examples where sea rights have 
been final to the war ; but this is when princes 
or states have set up their rest upon the bat- 
tles : but thus much is certain, that he that 
commands the sea is at great liberty, and may 
take as much and as little of the war as he 
will ; whereas those that be strongest by land 
are many times, nevertheless, in great straits. 
Surely, at this day, with us of Europe, the 



149 

vantage of strength at sea, (which is one of 
the principal dowries of this kingdom of Great 
Britain,) is great ; both because most of the 
kingdoms of Europe are not merely inland, 
but girt with the sea most part of their compass ; 
and because the wealth of both Indies seems in 
great part but an accessary to the command 
of the seas. 

The wars of latter ages seem to be made in 
the dark in respect of the glory and honour 
which reflected upon men from the wars in 
ancient time. There be now, for martial en- 
couragement, some degrees and orders of chi- 
valry, which, nevertheless, are conferred pro- 
miscuously upon soldiers and no soldiers, and 
some remembrance perhaps upon the escut- 
cheon, and some hospitals for maimed soldiers, 
and such like things : but in ancient times the 
trophies erected upon the place of the victory ; 
the funeral laudatives and monuments for those 
that died in the wars ; the crowns and garlands 
personal ; the style of emperor, which the great 
kings of the world after borrowed ; the tri- 
umphs of the generals upon their return ; the 
great donatives and largesses upon the disband- 
ing of the armies, were things able to inflame 



150 

all men's courages; but, above all, that of the 
triumph amongst the Romans was not pageants 
or gaudery, but one of the wisest and noblest 
institutions that ever was; for it contained 
three things, honours to the general, riches to 
the treasury out of the spoils, and donatives 
to the army : but that honour, perhaps, were 
not fit for monarchies, except it. be in the 
person of the monarch himself, or his sons; 
as it came to pass in the times of the Roman 
emperors, who did impropriate the actual tri- 
umphs to themselves and their sons for such 
wars as they did achieve in person ; and left 
only for wars achieved by subjects some tri- 
umphal garments and ensigns to the ge- 
neral. 

To conclude: no man can by care taking, 
(as the Scripture saith,) " add a cubit to his 
" stature, " in this little model of a man's body; 
but in the great frame of kingdoms and com- 
monwealths it is in the power of princes or 
estates to add amplitude and greatness to their 
kingdoms ; for by introducing such ordinances > 
constitutions, and customs, as we have now 
touched, they may sow greatness to their post- 
erity and succession : but these things are 



151 

commonly not observed, but left to take their 
chance. 



OF REGIMEN OF HEALTH. 

There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules 
of physic : a man's own observation what he 
finds good of, and what he finds hurt of, is 
the best physic to preserve health ; but it is a 
safer conclusion to say, " This agree th not well 
" with me, therefore I will not continue it;" 
than this, " I find no offence of this, therefore 
" I may use it :" for strength of nature in youth 
passeth over many excesses which are owing a 
man till his age. Discern of the coming on 
of years, and think not to do the same things 
still; for age will not be defied. Beware of 
sudden change in any great point of diet, 
and, if necessity enforce it, fit the rest to it ; 
for it is a secret both in nature and state, that 
it is safer to change many things than one. 
Examine thy customs of diet, sleep, exercise, 
apparel, and the like; and try in any thing 
thou shalt judge hurtful, to discontinue it by 
little and little ; but so, as if thou dost find 



152 

any inconvenience by the change, thou come 
back to it again ; for it is hard to distinguish 
that which is generally held good and whole- 
some from that which is good particularly, 
and fit for thine own body. To be free- 
minded and cheerfully disposed at hours of 
meat, and of sleep, and of exercise, is one of 
the best precepts of long lasting. As for the 
passions and studies of the mind, avoid envy, 
anxious fears, anger fretting inwards, subtile 
and knotty inquisitions, joys and exhilarations 
in excess, sadness not communicated. Enter- 
tain hopes, mirth rather than joy, variety of 
delights, rather than surfeit of them; wonder 
and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies 
that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious 
objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations 
of nature. If you fly physic in health alto- 
gether, it will be too strange for your body 
when you shall need it; if you make it too 
familiar, it will work no extraordinary effect 
when sickness cometh. I commend rather 
some diet for certain seasons^ than frequent 
use of physic, except it be grown into a cus- 
tom ; for those diets alter the body more, and 
trouble it less. Despise no new accident in 



153 

your body, but ask opinion of it. In sickness, 
respect health principally ; and in health, ac- 
tion : for those that put their bodies to endure 
in health may in most sicknesses, which are 
not very sharp, be cured only with diet and 
tendering. Celsus could never have spoken 
it as a physician, had he not been a wise man 
withal, when he giveth it for one of the great 
precepts of health and lasting, that a man do 
vary and interchange contraries; but with an 
inclination to the more benign extreme : use 
fasting and full eating, but rather full eating; 
watching and sleep, but rather sleep; sitting 
and exercise, but rather exercise, and the like : 
so shall nature be cherished, and yet taught 
masteries. Physicians are some of them so 
pleasing and conformable to the humour of the 
patient, as they press not the true cure of the 
disease; and some other are so regular in pro- 
ceeding according to art for the disease, as they 
respect not sufficiently the condition of the 
patient. Take one of a middle temper; or, 
if it may not be found in one man, combine 
two of either sort; and forget not to call as 
well the best acquainted with your body, as the 
best reputed of for his faculty. 



154 



OF SUSPICION. 

Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats 
amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight: 
certainly they are to be repressed, or, at "the 
least, well guarded : for they cloud the mind, 
they lose friends, and they check with business, 
whereby business cannot go on currently and 
constantly : they dispose kings to tyranny, hus- 
bands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and 
melancholy : they are defects, not in the heart 
but in the brain ; for they take place in the 
stoutest natures ; as in the example of Henry 
the Seventh of England; there was not a more 
suspicious man nor a more stout : and in such 
a composition they do small hurt, for com- 
monly they are not admitted but with exami- 
nation, whether they be likely or no ; but in 
fearful natures they gain ground too fast. 
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, 
more than to know little ; and, therefore, men 
should remedy suspicion by procuring to know 
more, and not to keep their suspicions in smo- 
ther. What would men have ? Do they think 



155 

those they employ and deal with are saints ? 
do they not think they will have their own 
ends, and be truer to themselves than to them ? 
therefore there is no better way to moderate 
suspicions, than to account upon such suspi- 
cions as true, and yet to bridle them as false : 
for so far a man ought to make use of suspi- 
cions as to provide, as if that should be true 
that he suspects, yet it may do him no hurt. 
Suspicions that the mind of itself gathers are 
but buzzes ; but suspicions that are artificially 
nourished, and put into men's heads by the 
tales and whisperings of others, have stings. 
Certainly the best mean to clear the way in 
this same wood of suspicions is frankly to com- 
municate them with the party that he suspects; 
for thereby he shall be sure to know more of 
the truth of them than he did before ; and 
withal shall make that party more circumspect 
not to give farther cause of suspicion : but this 
would not be done to men of base natures ; for 
they, if they find themselves once suspected, 
will never be true. The Italian says, " So- 
" spetto licentia fede ;" as if suspicion did give 
a passport to faith; but it ought rather to kin- 
dle it to discharge itself, 

Che c-iccctmaitcrccle 



156 



OF DISCOURSE. 

Some in their discourse desire rather commen- 
dation of wit, in being able to hold all argu- 
ments, than of judgment, in discerning what 
is true ; as if it were a praise to know what 
might be said, and not what should be thought. 
Some have certain common places and themes, 
wherein they are good, and want variety ; 
which kind of poverty is for the most part 
tedious, and, when it is once perceived, ridi- 
culous. The honourablest part of talk is to 
give the occasion ; and again to moderate and 
pass to somewhat else, for then a man leads 
the dance. It is good in discourse and speech 
of conversation to vary and intermingle speech 
of the present occasion with arguments, ta^s 
with reasons, asking of questions with telling 
of opinions, and jest with earnest; for it is a 
dull thing to tire, and, as we say now, to jade 
any thing too far. As for jest, there be cer- 
tain things which ought to be privileged from 
it; namely, religion, matters of state, great 
persons, any man's present business of im- 



157 

portance, and any case that deserveth pity; yet 
there be some that think their wits have been 
asleep, except they dart out somewhat that is 
piquant, and to the quick : that is a vein which 
would be bridled : 

ft Parce puer ftimulis, et fortius utere 1005." 

And, generally, men ought to find the diffe- 
rence between saltness and bitterness. Cer- 
tainly, he that hath a satirical vein, as he 
maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had 
need be afraid of others' memory. He that 
questioneth much shall learn much, and con- 
tent much ; but especially if he apply his 
questions to the skill of the persons whom he 
asketh; for he shall give them occasion to 
please themselves in speaking, and himself 
shall continually gather knowledge: but let 
his questions not be troublesome, for that is 
fit for a poser; and let him be sure to leave 
other men their turns to speak : nay, if there 
be any that would reign and take up all the 
time, let him find means to take them off, 
and bring ethers on; as musicians use to do 
with those that dance too long galliards. If 
you dissemble sometimes your knowledge of 



158 

that you are thought to know, you shall be 
thought another time to know that you know 
not. Speech of a man's self ought to be sel- 
dom, and well chosen. I knew one was wont 
to say in scorn, " He must needs be a wise man, 
" he speaks so much of himself:" and there is 
but one case wherein a man may commend 
himself with good grace, and that is in com- 
mending virtue in another ; especially if it be 
such a virtue whereunto himself pretendeth. 
Speech of touch towards others should be 
sparingly used; for discourse ought to be as 
a field, without coming home to any man. I 
knew two noblemen of the west part of Eng- 
land, whereof the one was given to scoff, but 
kept ever royal cheer in his house ; the other 
would ask of those that had been at the other's 
table, " Tell truly, was there never a flout or 
" dry blow given Y f to which the guest would 
answer, " Such and such a thing passed;" the 
lord would say, " I thought he would mar a 
" good dinner." Discretion of speech is more 
than eloquence ; and to speak agreeably to 
him with whom we deal is more than to speak 
in good words, or in good order. A good 
continued speech without a good speech of 



159 

interlocution shews slowness; and a good re- 
ply or second speech, without a good settled 
speech, sheweth shallowness and weakness. 
As we see in beasts, that those that are weakest 
in the course are yet nimblest in the turn ; as 
it is betwixt the greyhound and the hare. To 
use too many circumstances ere one come to 
the matter is wearisome ; to use none at all is 
blunt. 



OF PLANTATIONS. 

Plantations are amongst ancient, primitive, 
and heroical works. When the world was 
young it begat more children ; but now it is 
old it begets fewer: for I may justly account 
new plantations to be the children of former 
kingdoms. I like a plantation in a pure soil ; 
that is, where people are not displanted to the 
end to plant in others ; for else it is rather an 
extirpation than a plantation. Planting of 
countries is like planting of woods; for you 
must make account to lose almost twenty years' 
profit, and expect your recompense in the end : 
for the principal thing that hath been the 



160 

destruction of most plantations hath been the 
base and hasty drawing of profit in the first 
years. It is true, speedy profit is not to be 
neglected as far as may stand with the good 
of the plantation, but no farther. It is a 
shameful and unblessed thing to take the scum 
of people and wicked condemned men, to be 
the people with whom you plant ; and not 
only so, but it spoileth the plantation; for they 
will ever live like rogues, and not fall to work, 
but be lazy, and do mischief, and spend vic- 
tuals, and be quickly weary, and then certify 
over to their country to the discredit of the 
plantation. The people wherewith you plant 
ought to be gardeners, ploughmen, smiths, 
carpenters, joiners, fishermen, fowlers, with 
some few apothecaries, surgeons, cooks, and 
bakers. In a country of plantation first look 
about what kind of victual the country yields 
of itself to hand ; as chesnuts, walnuts, pine- 
apples, olives, dates, plums, cherries, wild 
honey, and the like, and make use of them. 
Then consider what victual, or esculent things 
there are, which grow speedily, and within 
the year; as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, 
raddish, artichokes of Jerusalem, maise, and 



161 

the like : for wheat, barley, and oats, they ask 
too much labour ; but with pease and beans 
} r ou may begin ; both because they ask less 
labour, and because they serve for meat as 
well as for bread ; and of rice likewise cometh 
a great increase, and it is a kind of meat. 
Above all, there ought to be brought store of 
biscuit, oatmeal, flower, meal, and the like, 
in the beginning, till bread may be had. For 
beasts or birds, take chiefly such as are least 
subject to diseases, and multiply fastest ; as 
swine, goats, cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, 
house-doves, and the like. The victual in 
plantations ought to be expended almost as 
in a besieged town; that is, with certain al- 
lowance: and let the main part of the ground 
employed to gardens or corn be to a common 
stock; and to belaid in, and stored up, and 
then delivered out in proportion ; besides some 
spots of ground that any particular person will 
manure for his own private. Consider, like- 
wise, what commodities the soil where the 
plantation is doth naturally yield, that they 
may some way help to defray the charge of 
the plantation; so it be not, as was said, to 
the untimely prejudice of the main business; 

M 



16 C 2 

as it hath fared with tobacco in Virginia. 
Wood commonly aboundeth but too much ; 
and therefore timber is fit to be one. If there 
be iron ore, and streams whereupon to set the 
mills, iron is a brave commodity where wood 
aboundeth. Making of bay-salt, if the climate 
be proper for it, would be put in experience : 
growing silk likewise, if any be, is a likely 
commodity: pitch and tar, where store of firs 
and pines are, will not fail ; so drugs and sweet 
woods, where they are, cannot but yield great 
profit; soap ashes likewise, and other things 
that may be thought of: but moil not too 
much under ground, for the hope of mines is . 
very uncertain, and useth to make the planters 
lazy in others. For government, let it be in 
the hands of one assisted with some counsel; 
and let them have commission to exercise mar- 
tial laws with some limitation; and, above all, 
let men make that profit of being in the wil- 
derness, as they have God always, and his 
service, before their eyes : let not the govern- 
ment of the plantation depend upon too many 
counsellors and undertakers in the country 
that planteth, but upon a temperate number ; 
and let those be rather noblemen and gentle- 



163 

men, than merchants; for they look ever to 
the present gain : let there be freedom from 
custom till the plantation be of strength ; and 
not only freedom from custom, but freedom to 
carry their commodities where they may make 
their best of them, except there be some special 
cause of caution. Cram not in people, by send- 
ing too fast company after company ; but ra- 
ther hearken how they waste, and send supplies 
proportionably ; but so as the number may live 
well in the plantation, and not by surcharge 
be in penury. It hath been a great endanger- 
ing to the health of some plantations that they 
have built along the sea and rivers, in marish 
and unwholesome grounds : therefore, though 
you begin there to avoid carnage and other 
like discommodities, yet build still rather up- 
wards from the streams, than along. It con- 
cerneth likewise the health of the plantation 
that they have good store of salt with them, 
that they may use it in their victuals when it 
shall be necessary. If you plant where savages 
are, do not only entertain them with trifles and 
gingles, but use them justly and graciously, 
with sufficient guard nevertheless; and do not 
win their favour by helping them to invade 



164 

their enemies, but for their defence it is not 
amiss; and send oft of them over to the coun- 
try that plants, that they may see a better 
condition than their own, and commend it 
when they return. When the plantation grows 
to strength, then it is time to plant with wo- 
men as well as with men ; that the plantation 
may spread into generations, and not be ever 
pierced from without. It is the sinfullest 
thing in the world to forsake or destitute a 
plantation once in forwardness; for, besides 
the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of 
many commiserable persons. 



OF RICHES. 

I cannot call riches better than the baggage 
of virtue; the Roman word is better, " im- 
" pedimenta;" for as the baggage is to an 
army, so are riches to virtue; it cannot be 
spared nor left behrnd, but it hindereth the 
march ; yea, and the care of it sometimes 
loseth or disturbeth the victory : of great 
riches there is no real use, except it be in the 
distribution ; the rest is but conceit : so saith 



165 

Solomon; " Where much is, there are many 
" to consume it; and what hath the owner 
" but the sight of it with his eyes?" The per- 
sonal fruition in any man cannot reach to 
feel great riches: there is a custody of them; 
or a power of dole and donative of them ; or 
a fame of them ; but no solid use to the owner. 
Do you not see what feigned prices are set 
upon little stones and rarities ? and what works 
of ostentation are undertaken, because there 
might seem to be some use of great riches? 
But then you will say they may be of use to 
buy men out of dangers or troubles; as Solo- 
mon saith, " Riches are as a strong hold in 
*' the imagination of the rich man/' But this 
is excellently expressed, that it is in imagina- 
tion, and not always in fact; for, certainly, 
great riches have sold more men than they 
have bought out. Seek not proud riches, but 
such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, 
distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly; 
yet have no abstract or friarly contempt of 
them; but distinguish, as Cicero saith well of 
Rabirius Posthumus, " in studio rei amplifi- 
u canda? apparebat, non avaritiaa praedam, sed 
" instrumentum bonitati quoeri." Hearken also 



166 

to Solomon, and beware of hasty gathering of 
riches; " Qui festinat ad divitias, non erit 
" insons." The poets feign, that when Plutus, 
(which is riches,) is sent from Jupiter, he 
limps, and goes slowly ; but when he is sent 
from Pluto, he runs, and is swift of foot; 
meaning, that riches gotten by good means 
and just labour pace slowly; but when they 
come by the death of others, (as by the course 
of inheritance, testaments, and the like,) they 
come tumbling upon a man : but it might be 
applied likewise to Pluto taking him for the 
devil; for when riches come from the devil, 
(as by fraud, and oppression, and unjust means,) 
they come upon speed. The ways to enrich 
are many, and most of them foul : parsimony 
is one of the best, and yet is not innocent ; for 
it withholdeth men from works of liberality 
and charity. The improvement of the ground 
is the most natural obtaining of riches ; for it 
is our great mother's blessing, the earth ; but 
it is slow ; and yet, where men of great wealth 
do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth riches 
exceedingly. I knew a nobleman in England 
that had the greatest audits of any man in my 
time; a great grazier, a great sheep master, a 



161 

great timber man, a great collier, a great corn 
master, a great lead man, and so of iron, and 
a number of the like points of husbandry ; so 
as the earth seemed a sea to him in respect of 
the perpetual importation. It was truly observed 
by one, " That himself came very hardly to a 
" little riches, and very easily to great riches ;" 
for when a man's stock is come to that, that 
he can expect the prime of markets, and over- 
come those bargains, which for their greatness 
are few men's money, and be partner in the 
industries of young men, he cannot but in- 
crease mainly. The gains of ordinary trades 
and vocations are honest, and furthered by two 
things, chiefly, by diligence, and by a good 
name for good and fair dealing; but the gains 
of bargains are of a more doubtful nature, 
when men shall wait upon others' necessity ; 
broke by servants and instruments to draw 
them on; put off others cunningly that would 
be better chapmen, and the like practices, 
which are crafty and naught: as for the chop- 
ping of bargains, when a man buys not io hold 
but to sell over again, that commonly grind- 
eth double, both upon the seller and upon the 
buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich if the 



168 

hands be well chosen that are trusted. Usury 
is the certainest means of gain, though one of 
the worst, as that whereby a man doth eat his 
bread, " in sudore vultus alieni;" and besides, 
doth plough upon Sundays : but yet certain 
though it be, it hath flaws ; for that the scri- 
veners and brokers do value unsound men to 
serve their own turn. The fortune, in be- 
ing the first in an invention or in a privilege, 
doth cause sometimes a wonderful overgrowth 
in riches; as it was with the first sugar man 
in the Canaries : therefore, if a man can play 
the true logician, to have as well judgment as 
invention, he may do great matters, especially 
if the times be fit: he that resteth upon gains 
certain shall hardly grow to great riches; and 
he that puts all upon adventures doth often- 
times break and come to poverty : It is good, 
therefore, to guard adventures with certainties 
that may uphold losses. Monopolies, and co- 
emption of wares for re-sale, where they are not 
restrained, are great means to enrich ; especially 
if the party have intelligence what things are 
like to come into request, and so store himself 
before hand. Riches gotten by service, though 
it be of the best rise, yet when they are gotten 



169 

by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile 
conditions, they may be placed amongst the 
worst. As for fishing for testaments and ex- 
ecutorships, (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, " tes- 
" tamenta et orbos tanquam indagine capi,") 
it is yet worse, by how much men submit 
themselves to meaner persons than in service. 
Believe not much them that seem to despise 
riches, for they despise them that despair of 
them; and none worse when they come to 
them. Be not penny-wise : riches have wings, 
and sometimes they fly away of themselves ; 
sometimes they must be set flying to bring in 
more. Men leave their riches either to their 
kindred, or to the public; and moderate por- 
tions prosper best in both. A great estate left 
to an heir is as a lure to all the birds of prey 
round about to seize on him, if he be not the 
better stablished in years and judgment: like- 
wise, glorious gifts and foundations are like 
sacrifices without salt ; and but the painted 
sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy 
and corrupt inwardly : therefore measure not 
thine advancements by quantity, but frame 
them by measure : and defer not charities till 
death ; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, 



170 

he that doth so is rather liberal of another 
man's than of his own. 



OF PROPHECIES. 
i 

I mean not to speak of divine prophecies, nor 
of heathen oracles, nor of natural predictions; 
but only of prophecies that have been of cer- 
tain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith 
the Pythonissa to Saul, " To-morrow thou and 
44 thy son shall be with me." Virgil hath these 
verses from Homer : 

u At domus iEnese cunctis dominabitur oris, 

Et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis." JEn. iii. 97. 

A prophecy as it seems of the R.oman empire. 
Seneca the tragedian hath these verses : 



- a Venient annis 



Saecula seris, quibus oceanus 
Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens 
Pateat tellus, Tiphysque novos 
Detegat orbes ; nee sit terris 
Ultima Thule :" 



a prophecy of the discovery of America. The 
daughter of Polycrates dreamed that Jupiter 



171 

bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him ; 
and it came to pass that he was crucified in an 
open place, where the sun made his body run 
with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip 
of Macedon dreamed he sealed up his wife's 
belly ; whereby he did expound it, that his 
wife should be barren : but Aristander the 
soothsayer told him his wife was with child, 
because men do not use to seal vessels that are 
empty. A phantasm that appeared to M- 
Brutus in his tent, said to him : " Philippis 
" iterum me videbis/' Tiberius said to Galba, 
" Tu quoque, Galba, degustabis imperium." 
In Vespasian's time there went a prophecy 
in the East, that those that should come forth 
of Judea should reign over the world ; which 
though it may be was meant of our Saviour, 
yet Tacitus expounds it of Vespasian. Domi- 
tian dreamed, the night before he was slain, 
that a golden head was growing out of the 
nape of his neck ; and indeed the succession 
that followed him, for many years, made 
golden times. Henry the Sixth of England 
said of Henry the Seventh, when he was a lad, 
and gave him water, " This is the lad that 
M shall enjoy the crown for which we strive." 



172 

When I was in France, I heard from one 
Dr. Pena, that the queen mother, who was 
given to curious arts, caused the king her 
husband's nativity to be calculated under a 
false name ; and the astrologer gave a judg- 
ment, that he should be killed in a duel ; at 
which the queen laughed, thinking her hus- 
band to be above challenges and duels : but 
he was slain upon a course at tilt, the splinters 
of the staff of Montgomery going in at his 
bever. The trivial prophecy which I heard 
when I was a child, and queen Elizabeth was 
in the flower of her years, was, 

ft When hemp is spun, 
England's done :" 

whereby it was generally conceived, that after 
the princes had reigned which had the prin- 
cipal letters of that word hemp, (which were 
Henry, Edward, Mary, Philip, and Elizabeth,) 
England should come to utter confusion ; which, 
thanks be to God ! is verified only in the change 
of the name ; for that the king's style is now 
no more of England, but of Britain. There 
was also another prophecy before the year of 
eighty-eight, which I do not well understand. 



173 

There shall be seen upon a cay, 
Between the baugh and the May, 
The black fleet of Norway. 
When that that is come and gone, 
England buiJd houses of lime and stone, 
For after wars shall you have none." 

It was generally conceived to be meant of the 
Spanish fleet that came in eighty-eight ; for 
that the king of Spain's surname, as they say, 
is Norway. The prediction of Regiomon- 
tanus, 

" Octogesimus octavus mirabilis annus:" 

was thought likewise accomplished in the 
sending of that great fleet, being the greatest 
in strength, though not in number, of all that 
ever swam upon the sea. As for Cleon's 
dream, I think it was a jest : it was, that he 
was devoured of a long dragon ; and it was 
expounded of a maker of sausages, that trou- 
bled him exceedingly. There are numbers of 
the like kind ; especially if you include dreams 
and predictions of astrology : but I have set 
down these few only of certain credit, for 
example. My judgment is, that they ought 



174 

all to be despised, and ought to serve but for 
winter talk by the fire side. Though when I 
say despised, I mean it as for belief; for other- 
wise, the spreading or publishing of them is in 
no sort to be despised; for they have done 
much mischief; and I see many severe laws 
made to suppress them. That that hath given 
them grace and some credit consisteth in 
three things : First, that men mark when they 
hit, and never mark when they miss ; as they 
do, generally, also of dreams. The second is, 
that probable conjectures or obscure tradi- 
tions many times turn themselves into pro- 
phecies ; while the nature of man, which co- 
veteth divination, thinks it no peril to foretell 
that which indeed they do but collect : as 
that of Seneca's verse ; for so much was then 
subject to demonstration, that the globe of the 
earth had great parts beyond the Atlantic, 
which might be probably conceived not to be 
all sea ?■ and adding thereto the tradition in 
Plato's Timaeus, and his Atlanticus, it might 
encourage one to turn it to a prediction. The 
third and last, (which is the great one,) is that 
almost all of them, being infinite in number, 
have been impostures, and, by idle and crafty 



175 

brains, merely contrived and feigned, after the 
event past. 



OF AMBITION. 

Ambition is like choler, which is an humour 
that maketh men active, earnest, full of ala- 
crity, and stirring, if it be not stopped; but if 
it be stopped, and cannot have its way, it be- 
cometh adust, and thereby malign and ve- 
nomous : so ambitious men, if they find the 
way open for their rising, and still get forward, 
they are rather busy than dangerous ; but if 
they be checked in their desires, they become 
secretly discontent, and look upon men and 
matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased 
when things go backward ; which is the worst 
property in a servant of a prince or state : 
therefore it is good for princes, if they use 
ambitious men, to handle it so, as they be still 
progressive, and not retrograde; which, be- 
cause it cannot be without inconvenience, it 
is good not to use such natures at all ; for if 
they rise not with their service they will take 
order to make their service fall with them, 



176 

But since we have said it were good not to use 
men of ambitious natures, except it be upon 
necessity, it is fit we speak in what cases they 
are of necessity. Good commanders in the 
wars must be taken, be they never so ambi- 
tious ; for the use of their service dispenseth 
with the rest ; and to take a soldier without 
ambition is to pull off his spurs. There is 
also great use of ambitious men in being 
-screens to princes in matters of danger and 
envy ; for no man will take that part, except 
he be like a seeled dove, that mounts and 
mounts, because he cannot see about him. 
There is use also of ambitious men in pulling 
down the greatness of any subject that over- 
tops; as Tiberius used Macro in the pulling 
down of Sejanus. Since therefore they must be 
used in such cases, there restcth to speak how 
they are to be bridled, that they may be less 
dangerous : there is less danger of them if they 
be of mean birth than if they be noble ; and 
if they be rather harsh of nature, than gracious 
and popular ; and if they be rather new raised, 
than grown cunning and fortified in their 
greatness. It is counted by some a weakness 
in princes to have favourites ; but it is, of all 



177 

others, the best remedy against ambitious great 
ones; for when the way of pleasuring and dis- 
pleasuring lieth by the favourite, it is impossi- 
ble any other should be over-great. Another 
means to curb them is to balance them by 
others as proud as they : but then there must 
be some middle counsellors to keep things 
steady; for without that ballast the ship will 
roll too much. At the least, a prince may 
animate and inure some meaner persons to be, 
as it were, scourges to ambitious men. As for 
the having of them obnoxious to ruin, if they 
be of fearful natures, it may do well ; but if 
they be stout and daring, it may precipitate 
their designs, and prove dangerous. As for 
the pulling of them down, if the affairs require 
it, and that it may not be done with safety 
suddenly, the only way is, the interchange con- 
tinually of favours and disgraces, whereby they 
may not know what to expect, and be, as it 
were, in a wood. Of ambitions, it is less 
harmful the ambition to prevail in great things, 
than that other to appear in every thing ; for 
that breeds confusion, and mars business : but 
yet it is less danger to have an ambitious man 
stirring in business, than great in dependences. 



178 

He that secketh to be eminent amongst able 
men hath a great task ; but that is ever good 
for the public : but he that plots to be the only 
figure amongst cyphers is the decay of a whole 
age. Honour hath three things in it ; the 
vantage ground to do good; the approach to 
kings and principal persons; and the raising 
of a man's own fortunes. He that hath the 
best of these intentions, when he aspireth, is 
an honest man; and that prince, that can dis- 
cern of these intentions in another that a- 
spireth, is a wise prince. Generally let princes 
and states choose such ministers as are more 
sensible of duty than of rising, and such as 
love business rather upon conscience than upon 
bravery ; and let them discern a busy nature 
from a willing mind. 



OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS. 

These things are but toys to come amongst such 
serious observations ; but yet, since princes will 
have such things, it is better they should be 
graced with elegancy, than daubed with cost. 
Dancing to song is a thing of great state and 



I7£> 

pleasure. I understand it that the song be 
in quire, placed aloft, and accompanied with 
some broken music ; and the ditty fitted to the 
device. Acting in song, especially in dialogues, 
hath an extreme good grace ; I say acting, not 
dancing ; (for that is a mean and vulgar thing ;) 
and the voices of the dialogue would be strong 
and manly, (a base, and a tenor; no treble;) 
and the ditty high and tragical, not nice or 
dainty. Several quires placed one over against 
another, and taking the voice by catches an- 
them-wise, give great pleasure. Turning dances 
into figure is a childish curiosity: and gene- 
rally let it be noted, that those things which 
I here set down are such as do naturally 
take the sense, and not respect petty wonder- 
ments. It is true, the alterations of scenes, 
so it be quietly and without noise, are things 
of great beauty and pleasure; for they feed and 
relieve the eye before it be full of the same 
object. Let the scenes abound with light, 
especially coloured and varied ; and let the 
masquers, or any other that are to come down 
from the scene, have some motions upon the 
scene itself before their coming down; for it 
draws the eye strangely, and makes it with 



180 

great pleasure to desire to see that it cannot 
perfectly discern* Let the songs be loud and 
cheerful, and not chirpings or pulings : let the 
music likewise be sharp and loud, and well- 
placed. The colours that shew best by candle- 
light are white, carnation, and a kind of sea- 
water green; and ouches, or spangs, as they 
are of no great cost, so they are of most glory.. 
As for rich embroidery, it is lost and not dis- 
cerned. Let the suits of the masquers be grace- 
ful, and such as become the person when the 
vizards are off; not after examples of known 
attires; Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like. 
Let anti-masques not be long ; they have been 
commonly of fools, satyrs, baboons, wild men, 
antics, beasts, spirits, witches, asthiopes, pyg- 
mies, turquets, nymphs, rustics, cupids, statues 
moving, and the like. As for angels, it is not 
comical enough to put them in anti-masques ; 
and any thing that is hideous, as devils, giants, 
is, on the other side, as unfit;, but chiefly, let 
the music of them be recreative, and with some 
strange changes. Some sweet odours suddenly 
coming forth, without any drops falling, are 
in such a company, as there is steam and 
heat, things of great pleasure and refreshment* 



181 

Double masques, one of men, another of ladies, 
addeth state and variety ; but all is nothing, 
except the room be kept clear and neat. 

For justs, and tourneys, and barriers, the 
glories of them are chiefly in the chariots, 
wherein the challengers make their entry ; 
especially if they be drawn with strange 
beasts; as lions, bears, camels, and the like; 
or in the devices of their entrance, or in 
bravery of their liveries, or in the goodly fur- 
niture of their horses and armour. But enough 
of these toys. 



OF NATURE IN MEN. 

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, 
seldom extinguished. Force maketh nature 
more violent in the return; doctrine and dis- 
course maketh nature less importune ; but cus- 
tom only doth alter and subdue nature. He 
that seeketh victory over his nature, let him 
not set himself too great nor too small tasks ; 
for the first will make him dejected by often 
failings, and the second will make him a small 
proceeder, though by often prevailings : and at 



182 

the first, let him practise with helps, as swim- 
mers do with bladders or rushes ; but after a 
time, let him practise with disadvantages, as 
dancers do with thick shoes ; for it breeds 
great perfection if the practice be harder than 
the use. Where nature is mighty, and there- 
fore the victory hard, the degrees had need be, 
first to stay and arrest nature in time; like to 
him that would say over the four and twenty 
letters when he was angry ; then to go less in 
quantity; as if one should, in forbearing wine, 
come from drinking healths to a draught at a 
meal; and, lastly, to discontinue altogether: 
but if a man have the fortitude and resolution 
to enfranchise himself at once, that is the best: 

" Oplimus ille animi vindex, lsedentia pectus 
Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque semel." 

Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend na- 
ture as a wand to a contrary extreme, whereby 
to set it right : understanding it where the con- 
trary extreme is no vice. Let not a man force 
a habit upon himself with a perpetual conti- 
nuance, but with some intermission ; for both 
the pause reinforceth the new onset; and, if a 
man that is not perfect be ever in practice, he 



183 

shall as well practise his errors as his abilities, 
and induce one habit of both ; and there is no 
means to help this but by seasonable inter- 
mission : but let not a man trust his victory 
over his nature too far ; for nature will lie 
buried a great time, and yet revive upon the 
occasion or temptation ; like as it was with 
/Esop's damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, 
who sate very demurely at the board's end till 
a mouse ran before her : therefore let a man 
either avoid the occasion altogether, or put 
himself often to it, that he may be little moved 
with it. A man's nature is best perceived in 
privateness; for there is no affectation in pas- 
sion; for that putteth a man out of his precepts, 
and in a new case or experiment, for there cus- 
tom leaveth him. They are happy men whose 
natures sort with their vocations ; otherwise 
they may say, " multum incola fuit anima 
" mea," when they converse in those things 
they do not affect. In studies, whatsoever a 
man commandeth upon himself, let him set 
hours for it; but whatsoever is agreeable to 
his nature, let him take no care for any set 
times ; for his thoughts will fly to it of them- 
selves, so as the spaces of other business or 



184 

studies will suffice. A man's nature runs ei- 
ther to herbs or weeds ; therefore let him 
seasonably water the one, and destroy the 
other. 



OF CUSTOM AND EDUCATION. 

Men's thoughts are much according to their 
inclination; their discourse and speeches ac- 
cording to their learning and infused opinions ; 
but their deeds are after as they have been ac- 
customed : and therefore, as Machiavel well 
noteth, (though in an evil-favoured instance,) 
there is no trusting to the force of nature, nor 
to the bravery of words, except it be corrobo- 
rate by custom. His instance is, that for the 
achieving of a desperate conspiracy a man 
should not rest upon the fierceness of any 
man's nature, or his resolute undertakings; 
but take such an one as hath had his hands 
formerly in blood : but Machiavel knew not 
of a friar Clement, nor a Ravillac, nor a 
Jaureguy, nor a Baltazar Gerard ; yet his rule 
holdeth still, that nature, nor the engagement 
of words, are not so forcible as custom. Only 



185 

Superstition is now so well advanced, that men 
of the first blood are as firm as butchers by- 
occupation; and votary resolution is made 
equipollent to custom, even in matter of blood. 
In other things the predominancy of custom 
is every where visible, insomuch as a man 
would wonder to hear men profess, protest, 
engage, give great words, and then do just as 
they have done before, as if they were dead 
images and engines moved only by the wheels 
of custom. We see also the reign or tyranny 
of custom what it is. The Indians, (I mean 
the sect of their wise men,) lay themselves 
quietly upon a stack of wood, and so sacrifice 
themselves by fire : nay, the wives strive to 
be burned with the corpse of their husbands. 
The lads of Sparta of ancient time were wont 
to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, with- 
out so much as queching. I remember, in 
the beginning of queen Elizabeth's time of 
England, an Irish rebel condemned put up a 
petition to the deputy that he might be hanged 
in a wyth, and not in an halter, because it had 
been so used with former rebels. There be 
monks in Russia, for penance, that will sit a 
whole night in a vessel of water till they be 



180 

engaged with hard ice. Many examples may 
be put of the force of custom, both upon mind 
and body ; therefore, since custom is the prin- 
cipal magistrate of man's life, let men by all 
means endeavour to obtain good customs. Cer- 
tainly, custom is most perfect when it begin- 
neth in young years : this we call education, 
which is, in effect, but an early custom. So 
we see, in languages, the tongue is more pliant 
to all expressions and sounds, the joints are 
more supple to all feats of activity and motions 
in youth, than afterwards; for it is true, the 
late learners cannot so well take the ply, ex- 
cept it be in some minds that have not suffered 
themselves to fix, but have kept themselves 
open and prepared to receive continual amend- 
ment, which is exceeding rare : but if the 
force of custom, simple and separate, be great, 
the force of custom, copulate and conjoined 
and collegiate, is far greater; for there exam- 
ple teacheth, company comforteth, emulation 
quickeneth, glory raiseth; so as in such places 
the force of custom is in its exaltation. Cer- 
tainly, the great multiplication of virtues upon 
human nature resteth upon societies well or- 
dained and disciplined ; for commonwealths 



187 

and good governments do nourish virtue grown, 
but do not much mend the seeds : but the mi- 
sery is, that the most effectual means are now 
applied to the ends least to be desired. 



OF FORTUNE. 

It cannot be denied but outward accidents 
conduce much to fortune ; favour, opportu- 
nity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue : 
but chiefly, the mould of man's fortune is 
in his own hands; " Faber quisque fortunce 
" suae," saith the poet; and the most frequent 
of external causes is, that the folly of one 
man is the fortune of another; for no man 
prospers so suddenly as by others' errors; " ser- 
" pens nisi serpentem comederit non fit draco. " 
Overt and apparent virtues bring forth praise ; 
but there be secret and hidden virtues that 
bring forth fortune ; certain deliveries of a 
man's self which have no name. The Spanish 
name, "disemboitura," partly expresseth them, 
when there be not stonds nor restiveness in a 
man's nature, but that the wheels of his mind 
keep way with the wheels of his fortune ; for 



188 

so Livy, (after he had described Cato Major 
in these words, " In illo viro, tantum robur 
f ■ corporis et animi fuit, ut quocunque loco 
" natus esset, fortunam sibi facturus vide- 
" retur,") falleth upon that that he had, 
" versatile ingenium -J 9 therefore, if a man look 
sharply and attentively, he shall see fortune; 
for though she be blind, yet she is not invisi- 
ble. The way of fortune is like the milky 
way in the sky; which is u meeting or knot 
of a number of small stars, not seen asunder, 
but giving light together : so are there a 
number of little and scarce discerned virtues, 
or rather faculties and customs, that make 
men fortunate. The Italians note some of 
them, such as a man would little think: 
When they speak of one that cannot do amiss, 
they will throw in into his other conditions, 
that he hath " Poco di matto;" and, certainly, 
there be not two more fortunate properties, 
than to have a little of the fool, and not too 
much of the honest : therefore extreme lovers 
of their country, or masters, were never for- 
tunate : neither can they be ; for when a man 
placeth his thoughts without himself, he goeth 
not his own way. An hasty fortune maketh 



189 

an enterpriser and remover ; (the French hath 
it better, " entreprenant," or " remuant;") but 
the exercised fortune maketh the able man. 
Fortune is to be honoured and respected, and 
it be but for her daughters, Confidence and 
Reputation; for those two felicity breedeth ;. 
the first within a man's self; the latter in 
others towards him. All wise men, to decline 
the envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe 
them to Providence and Fortune ; for so they 
may the better assume them : and, besides, it- 
is greatness in a man to be the care of the 
higher powers. So Caesar said to the pilot in. 
the tempest, " Caesarem portas, et fortunam 
" ejus/'' So Sylla chose the name of " Felix/* 
and not of " Magnus :" and it hath been noted, 
that those that ascribe openly too much to 
their own wisdom and policy end unfortunate- 
It is written, that Timotheus, the Athenian^ 
after he had, in the account he gave to the- 
state of his government, often interlaced this 
speech, " And in this fortune had no part/' 
never prospered in any thing he undertook 
afterwards. Certainly there be whose for- 
tunes are like Homer's verses, that have a 
slide and easiness more than the verses of other 



190 

poets; as Plutarch saith of Timoleon's fortune 
in respect of that of Agesilaus, or Epaminon- 
das: and that this should be, no doubt it is 
much in a man's self. 



OF USURY. 

Many have made witty invectives against 
usur}\ They say, that it is pity the devil 
should have God's part, which is the tithe ; 
that the usurer is the greatest sabbath-breaker, 
because his plough goeth every Sunday ; that 
the usurer is the drone that Virgil speaketh 
of: 

" Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent;" 

that the usurer break eth the first law that was 
made for mankind after the fall ; which was, 
" in sudore vultus tui comedes panem tuum ;" 
not, " in sudore vultus alicni ;" that usurers 
should have orange-tawny bonnets, because they 
do judaize ; that it is against nature for mo- 
ney to beget money, and the like. I say this 
onty, that usury is a " concessum propter du- 
" ritiem cordis :." for since there must be bor- 



191 

rowing and lending, and men are so hard of 
heart as they will not lend freely, usury must 
be permitted. Some others have made su- 
spicious and cunning propositions of banks, 
discovery of men's estates, and other inven- 
tions ; but few have spoken of usury usefully. 
It is good to set before us the incommodities 
and commodities of usury, that the good may 
be either weighed out, or culled out : and 
warily to provide, that, while we make forth 
to that which is better, we meet not with that 
which is worse. 

The discommodities of usury are, first, that 
it makes fewer merchants; for were it not for 
this lazy trade of usury, money would not lie 
still, but would in great part be employed upon 
merchandizing; which is the " vena porta" 
of wealth in a state : the second, that it makes 
poor merchants ; for as a farmer cannot hus- 
band his ground so well if he sit at a great rent, 
so the merchant cannot drive his trade so well 
if he sit at great usury : the third is incident 
to the other two ; and that is, the decay of 
customs of kings or estates, which ebb or flow 
with merchandizing: the fourth, that it bring- 
eth the treasure of a realm or state into a few 



192 

hands ; for the usurer being at certainties, and 
others at uncertainties, at the end of the game 
most of the money will be in the box ; and 
ever a state flourisheth when wealth is more 
equally spread : the fifth, that it beats down 
the price of land; for the employment of mo- 
ney is chiefly either merchandizing, or pur- 
chasing ; and usury waylays both : the sixth, 
that it doth dull and damp all industries, im- 
provements, and new inventions, wherein mo- 
ney would be stirring, if it were not for this 
slug : the last, that it is the canker and ruin of 
many men's estates, which in process of time 
breeds a public poverty. 

On the other side, the commodities of usury 
are first, that howsoever usury in some respect 
hindereth merchandizing, yet in some other it 
advanceth it ; for it is certain that the greatest 
part of trade is driven by young merchants 
upon borrowing at interest; so as if the usurer 
cither call in, or keep back his money, there 
will ensue presently a great stand of trade : 
the second is, that, were it not for this easy 
borrowing upon interest, men's necessities would 
draw upon them a most sudden undoing, in 
that they would be forced to sell their means, 



19; 



(be it lands or goods,) far under foot; and so^ 
whereas usury doth but gnaw upon them, bad 
markets would swallow them quite up. As for 
mortgaging, or pawning, it will little mendt 
the matter ; for either men will not take pains 
without use; or if they do, they will look pre- 
cisely for the forfeiture. I remember a cruel 
monied man in the country, that would say, 
" The devil take this usury, it keeps us from 
" forfeitures of mortgages and bonds/' The 
third and last is, that it is a vanity to conceive 
that there would be ordinary borrowing with- 
out profit ; and it is impossible to conceive the 
number of inconveniences that will ensue if 
borrowing be cramped : therefore to speak of 
the abolishing of usury is idle; all states have 
ever had it in one kind or rate or other : so as 
that opinion must be sent to Utopia. 

To speak now of the reformation and re- 
glement of usury ; how the discommodities of 
it may be best avoided, and the commodities 
retained. It appears, by the balance of com- 
modities and discommodities of usury, two 
things are to be reconciled ; the one, that the 
tooth of usury be grinded, that it bite not too 
much; the other, that there be left open a 
o 



194 

means to invite monied men to lend to the 
merchants for the continuing and quickening 
of trade. This cannot be done, except you in- 
troduce two several sorts of usury, a less and a 
greater; for if you reduce usury to one low 
rate, it will ease the common borrower, but 
the. merchant will be to seek for money : and 
it is to be noted, that the trade of merchandize 
being the most lucrative, may bear usury at a 
great rate; other contracts not so. 

To serve both intentions, the way w r ould 
be briefly thus : that there be two rates of 
usury ; the one free and general for all ; the 
other under license only to certain persons, 
and in certain places of merchandizing. First, 
therefore, let usury in general be reduced to 
five in the hundred; and let that rate be pro- 
claimed ,to be free and current ; and let the 
state shut itself out to take any penalty for the 
same: this will preserve borrowing from any 
general stop or dryness ; this will ease infinite 
borrowers in the country ; this will . in good 
part raise the price of land, because land pur- 
chased at sixteen years purchase will yield six 
in the hundred and somewhat more, whereas 
this rate of interest yields but five : this by 



195 

like reason will encourage and edge industrious 
and profitable improvements, because many 
will rather venture in that kind, than take five 
in the hundred, especially having been used to 
greater profit. Secondly, let there be certain 
persons licensed to lend to known merchants 
upon usury at a high rate ; and let it be with 
the cautions following ; let the rate be, even 
with the merchant himself, somewhat more 
easy than that he used formerly to pay ; for by 
that means all borrowers shall have some ease 
by this reformation, be he merchant or who- 
soever; let it be no bank, or common stock, 
but every man be master of his own money ; 
not that I altogether dislike banks, but they 
will hardly be brooked in regard of certain 
suspicions. Let the state be answered some 
small matter for the license, and the rest left 
to the lender; for if the abatement be but 
small, it will no whit discourage ihe lender; 
for he, for example, that took before ten or 
nine in the hundred, will sooner descend to 
eight in the hundred, than give over his trade 
of usury, and go from certain gains to gains of 
hazard. Let these licensed lenders be in num- 
ber indefinite, but restrained to certain prin- 



196 

cipal cities and towns of merchandizing ; for 
then they will be hardly able to colour other 
men's monies in the country ; so as the license 
of nine will not suck away the current rate of 
five ; for no man will lend his monies far off, 
nor put them into unknown hands. 

If it be objected that this doth in a sort au- 
thorise usury, which before was in some places 
but permissive, the answer is, that it is better 
to mitigate usury by declaration, than to suffer 
it to rage by connivance. 



OF YOUTH AND AGE. 

A man that is young in years may be old in 
hours, if he have lost no time ; but that hap- 
peneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the 
first cogitations, not so wise as the second : for 
there is a youth in thoughts as well as in ages ; 
and yet the invention of young men is more 
lively than that of old ; and imaginations 
stream into their minds better, and, as it were, 
more divinely. Natures, that have much heat, 
and great and violent desires and perturbations, 
are not ripe for action till they have passed the 



197 

meridian of their years : as it was with Julius 
Caesar and Septimius Severus : of the latter of 
whom it is said, " juventutem egit, erroribus, 
" imo furoribus plenam ; w and yet he was the 
ablest emperor, almost, of all the list : but re- 
posed natures may do well in youth, as it is 
seen in Augustus Caesar, Cosmus duke of 
Florence, Gaston de Fois, and others. On the 
other side, heat and vivacity in age is an ex- 
cellent composition for business. Young men 
are fitter to invent than to judge ; fitter for 
execution than for counsel ; and fitter for new 
projects, than for settled business; for the ex- 
perience of age, in things that fall within the 
compass of it, directeth them; but* in new 
things abuseth them. The errors of young 
men are the ruin of business ; but the errors 
of aged men amount but to this, that more 
might have been done, or sooner. Young men, 
in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace 
more than they can hold ; stir more than they 
can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration 
of the means and degrees ; pursue some few 
principles which they have chanced upon ab- 
surdly ; care not to innovate, which draws 
unknown inconveniences ; use extreme reme- 



198 

dies at first ; and that, which doubleth all er- 
rors, will not acknowledge or retract them, 
like an unready horse, that will neither stop 
nor turn. Men of age object too much, con- 
sult too long, adventure too little, repent too 
soon, and seldom drive business home to the 
full period, but content themselves with a 
mediocrity of success. Certainly it is good 
to compound employments of both; for that 
will be good for the present, because the vir- 
tues of either age may correct the defects of 
both; and good for succession, that young men 
may be learners, while men in age are actors ; 
and, lastly, good for external accidents, because 
authority followeth old men, and favour and 
popularity youth : but for the moral part, per- 
haps, youth will have the pre-eminence, as age 
hath for the politic. A certain rabbin upon 
the text, " Your young men shall see visions, 
" and your old men shall dream dreams/' in- 
ferreth, that young men are admitted nearer to 
God than old, because vision is a clearer reve- 
lation than a dream : and, certainly, the more 
a man drinketh of the world, the more it in- 
toxicateth ; and age doth profit rather in the 
powers of understanding, than in the virtues 



199 

of the will and affections. There be some 
have an over-early ripeness in their years, 
which fadeth betimes ; these are, first, such as 
have brittle wits, the edge whereof is soon 
turned ; such as was Hermogenes the rheto- 
rician, whose books are exceeding subtile, who 
afterwards waxed stupid : a second sort is of 
those that have some natural dispositions, which 
have better grace in youth than in age ; such 
as is a fluent and luxuriant speech ; which be- 
comes youth well, but not age : so Tully saith 
of Hortensius, " idem manebat, neque idem 
" decebat :" the third is of such as take too 
high a strain at the first ; and are magnani- 
mous, more than tract of years can uphold ; as 
was Scipio Africanus, of whom Livy saith in 
effect, " ultima primis cedebant." 

OF BEAUTY. 

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set ; and 
surely virtue is best in a body that is comely, 
though not of delicate features ; and that hath 
rather dignity of presence, than beauty of 
aspect : neither is it almost seen, that very 



200 

beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue y 
as if nature were rather busy not to err, than 
in labour to produce excellency; and there- 
fore they prove accomplished, but not of great 
spirit ; and study rather behaviour than virtue. 
But this holds not always ; for Augustus Cae- 
sar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le Bel of France, 
Edward the Fourth of England, Alcibiades of 
Athens, Ismael the sophy of Persia, were all 
high and great spirits ; and yet the most beau- 
tiful men of their times. In beauty, that of 
favour is more than that of colour ; and that 
of decent and gracious motion more than that 
of favour. That is the best part of beauty 
which a picture cannot express ; no, nor the 
first sight of the life. There is no excellent 
beauty that hath not some strangeness in the 
proportion. A man cannot tell whether Apel- 
les, or Albert Durer, were the more trifler ; 
whereof the one would make a personage by 
geometrical proportions ; the other, by taking 
the best parts out of divers faces, to make one 
excellent. Such personages, I think, would 
please no body but the painter that made 
them : not but I think a painter may make a 
better face than ever was ; but he must do it 



201 

by a kind of felicity, (as a musician that maketh 
an excellent air in music,) and not by rule. A 
man shall see faces, that, if you examine them 
part by part, you shall find never a good ; and 
yet altogether do well. If it be true, that the 
principal part of beauty is in decent motion, 
certainly it is no marvel, though persons in 
years seem many times more amiable ; " pul- 
" chrorum autumnus pulcher f for no youth 
can be comely but by pardon, and considering 
the youth as to make up the comeliness. Beauty 
is as summer-fruits, which are easy to corrupt, 
and cannot last ; and, for the most part, it 
makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out 
of countenance ; but yet certainly again, if 
it light well, it maketh virtues shine, and vices 
blush. 



OF DEFORMITY. 

Deformed persons are commonly even with 
nature ; for as nature hath done ill by them, 
so do they by nature, being for the most part, 
(as the Scripture saith,) " void of natural af- 
" fection f and so they have their revenge of 



202 

nature. Certainly there is a consent between 
the body and the mind, and where nature 
erreth in the one, she ventureth in the other ; 
" ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altero :" but 
because there is in man an election touching 
the frame of his mind, and a necessity in the 
frame of his body, the stars of natural incli- 
nation are sometimes obscured by the sun of 
discipline and virtue ; therefore it is good to 
consider of deformity, not as a sign which is 
more deceivable, but as a cause which seldom 
faileth of the effect. Whosoever hath any 
thing fixed in his person that doth induce con- 
tempt, hath also a perpetual spur in himself 
to rescue and deliver himself from scorn ; there- 
fore all deformed persons are extreme bold; 
first, as in their own defence, as being ex- 
posed to scorn ; but in process of time by a 
general habit. Also it stirreth in them indus- 
try, and especially of this kind, to watch and 
observe the weakness of others, that they may 
have somewhat to repay. Again, in their su- 
periors, it quencheth jealousy towards them, 
as persons that they think they may at plea- 
sure despise ; and it laycth their competitors 
and emulators asleep, as never believing they 



203 

should be in possibility of advancement till 
they see them in possession : so that upon the 
matter, in a great wit, deformity is an advan- 
tage to rising. Kings in ancient times, (and 
at this present in some countries,) were wont 
to put great trust in eunuchs, because they that 
are envious towards all are more obnoxious 
and officious towards one : but yet their trust 
towards them hath rather been as to good spials, 
and good whisperers, than good magistrates and 
officers : and much like is the reason of de- 
formed persons. Still the ground is, they will, 
if they be of spirit, seek to free themselves 
from scorn; which must be either by virtue or 
malice : and, therefore, let it not be marvelled 
if sometimes they prove excellent persons; as 
w r as Agesilaus, Zanger the son of Solyman, 
iEsop, Gasca president of Peru; and Socrates 
may go likewise amongst them, with others^ 



204 



OF BUILDING. 

Houses are built to live in, and not to look 
on ; therefore let use be preferred before uni- 
formity, except where both may be had. 
Leave the goodly fabrics of houses, for beauty 
only, to the enchanted palaces of the poets, 
who build them with small cost. He, that 
builds a fair house upon an ill seat, commit- 
teth himself to prison : neither do I reckon it 
an ill seat only, where the air is unwholesome, 
but likewise where the air is unequal ; as you 
shall see many fine seats set upon a knap of 
ground, environed with higher hills round 
about it, whereby the heat of the sun is pent 
in, and the wind gathereth as in troughs ; so 
as you shall have, and that suddenly, as great 
diversity of heat and cold as if you dwelt in 
several places. Neither is it ill air only that 
maketh an ill seat; but ill ways, ill markets; 
and, if you will consult with Momus, ill neigh- 
bours. I speak not of many more ; want of 
water ; want of wood, shade, and shelter ; want 
of fruitfulness, and mixture of grounds of se- 



205 

veral natures; want of prospect; want of level 
grounds ; want of places at some near distance 
for sports of hunting, hawking, and races ; too 
near the sea, too remote ; having the commo- 
dity of navigable rivers, or the discommodity 
of their overflowing; too far off from great 
cities, which may hinder business ; or too near 
them, which lurcheth all provisions, and maketh 
every thing dear ; where a man hath a great 
living laid together, and where he is scanted ; 
all which, as it is impossible perhaps to find 
together, so it is good to know them, and 
think of them, that a man may take as many 
as he can; and, if he have several dwellings, 
that he sort them so, that what he wanteth in 
the one, he may find in the other. Lucullus 
answered Pompey well, who, when he saw his 
stately galleries and rooms so large and light- 
some in one of his houses, said, " Surely an 
" excellent place for summer, but how do you 
" in winter ?" Lucullus answered, " Why do 
" you not think me as wise as some fowls are, 
" that ever change their abode towards the 
" winter ?" 

To pass from the seat to the house itself, 
we will do as Cicero doth in the orator's art, 



20<S , 

who writes books De Oratore, and a book he 
entitles Orator; whereof the former delivers 
the precepts of the art, and the latter the per- 
fection. We will therefore describe a princely 
palace, making a brief model thereof: for it is 
strange to see, now in Europe, such huge build- 
ings as the Vatican and Escurial and some 
others be, and yet scarce a very fair room in 
them. 

First, therefore, I say you cannot have a 
perfect palace, except you have two several 
sides ; a side for the banquet, as is spoken of 
in the book of Esther, and a side for the 
household; the one for feasts and triumphs, 
and the other for dwelling. I understand both 
these sides to be not only returns, but parts of 
the front ; and to be uniform without, though 
severally partitioned within; and to be on both 
sides of a great and statety tower in the midst 
of the front, that, as it were, joineth them 
together on either hand. I would have, on the 
side of the banquet in front, one only goodly 
room above stairs, of some forty foot high; and 
under it a room for a dressing or preparing 
place, at times of triumphs, On the other 
side, which is the household side, I wish it di- 



207 

vided at the first into a hall and a chapel, (with 
a partition between,) both of good state and 
bigness ; and those not to go all the length, 
but to have at the farther end a winter and a 
summer parlour, both fair ; and under these 
rooms a fair and large cellar sunk under ground \ 
and likewise some privy kitchens, with but- 
teries and pantries, and the like. As for the 
tower, I would have it two stories, of eighteen 
foot high a-piece above the two wings ; and 
goodly leads upon the top, raised with statues 
interposed ; and the same tower to be divided 
into rooms as shall be thought fit. The stairs 
likewise to the upper rooms, let them be upon 
a fair open newel, and finely railed in with 
images of wood cast into a brass colour; and 
a very fair landing place at the top. But this 
to be, if you do not point any of the lower 
rooms for a dining place of servants ; for, other- 
wise, you shall have the servants' dinner after 
your own ; for the steam of it will come up as 
in a tunnel ; and so much for the front : only 
I understand the height of the first stairs to be 
sixteen foot, which is the height of the lower 
room. 

Beyond this front is there to be a fair court., 



208 

but three sides of it of a far lower building 
than the front; and in all the four corners of 
that court fair stair-cases, cast into turrets on 
the outside, and not within the row of build- 
ings themselves : but those towers are not to 
be of the height of the front, but rather pro- 
portionable to the lower building. Let the 
court not be paved, for that striketh up a great 
heat in summer, and much cokl in winter; but 
only some side alleys with a cross, and the 
quarters to graze, being kept shorn, but not 
too near shorn. The row of return on the 
banquet side, let it be all stately galleries ; in 
which galleries let there be three, or five, fine 
cupolas in the length of it, placed at equal 
distance, and fine coloured windows of several 
works : on the household side, chambers of 
presence and ordinary entertainments, with 
some bed-chambers ; and let all three sides be 
a double house, without thorough lights on 
the sides, that you may have rooms from the 
sun, both for forenoon and afternoon. Cast 
it also, that you may have rooms both for sum- 
mer and winter ; shady for summer, and warm 
for winter. You shall have sometimes fair 
houses so full of glass that one cannot tell 



209 

where to become to be out of the sun or cold. 
For embowed windows, I hold them of good 
use; (in cities, indeed, upright do better, in re- 
spect of the uniformity towards the street ;) for 
they be pretty retiring, places for conference ; 
and, besides, they keep both the wind and sun 
off; for that which would strike almost through 
the room doth scarce pass the window : but 
let them be but few, four in the court, on the 
sides only. 

Beyond this court, let there be an inward 
court of the same square and height, which is 
to be environed with the garden on all sides ; 
and, in the inside, cloistered on all sides upon 
decent and beautiful arches as high as the first 
story : on the under story towards the garden, 
let it be turned to a grotto, or place of shade 
or estivation ; and only have opening and win- 
dows towards the garden, and be level upon the 
floor, no whit sunk under ground, to avoid all 
dampishness : and let there be a fountain or some 
fair work of statues in the midst of this court, 
and to be paved as the other court was. These 
buildings to be for privy lodgings on both sides, 
and the end for privy galleries; whereof you 
must foresee that one of them be for an iufir- 
p 



210 

mary, if the prince or any special person should 
be sick, with chambers, bed-chamber, " an- 
" tecamera," and " recamera," joining to it; 
this upon the second story. Upon the ground 
story, a fair gallery, open, upon pillars; and 
upon the third story likewise an open gallery 
upon pillars, to take the prospect and freshness 
of the garden. At both corners of the farther 
side, by way of return, let there be two deli- 
cate or rich cabinets, daintily paved, richly 
hanged, glazed with crystalline glass, and a 
rich cupola in the midst ; and all other ele- 
gancy that may be thought upon. In the upper 
gallery, too, I wish that there may be, if the 
place will yield it, some fountains running in 
divers places from the wall, with so.me fine 
avoidances. And thus much for the model 
of the palace; save that you must have, be- 
fore you come to the front, three courts ; a 
green court plain, with a wall about it; a 
second court of the same, but more garnished 
with little turrets, or rather embellishments 
upon the wall ; and a third court, to make a 
square with the front, but not to be built, nor 
yet enclosed with a naked wall, but enclosed 
with terraces leaded aloft, and fairly garnished 



211 

on the three sides; and cloistered on the inside 
with pillars, and not with arches below. As 
for offices, let them stand at distance, with; 
some low galleries to pass from them to the 
palace itself. 



OF GARDENS. 

God Almighty first planted a garden ; and, in- 
deed, it is the purest of human pleasures ; it is 
the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man ; 
without which buildings and palaces are but 
gross handyworks : and a man shall ever see, 
that, when ages grow to civility and elegancy, 
men corac to build stately, sooner than to 
garden finely ; as if gardening were the greater 
perfection. I do hold it, in the royal ordering 
of gardens, there ought to be gardens for all 
the months in the year ; in which, severally, 
things of beauty may be then in season. For 
December and January, and the latter part 
of November, you must take such things as 
are green all winter; holly; ivy; bays; ju- 
niper; cypress trees; yew; pines; fir-trees; 
rosemary; lavender; periwinkle, the white, the 



212 

purple, and the blue ; germander ; flags ; orange 
trees; lemon trees, and myrtles, if they be 
stoved ; and sweet marjoram warm set. There 
followeth, for the latter part of January and 
February, the mezereon tree, which then blos- 
soms ; crocus vernus, both the yellow and the 
grey ; primroses ; anemonies ; the early tulip ; hy- 
acinthus orientalis ; chamai'ris ; fritellaria. For 
March there come violets, especially the single 
blue, which are the earliest; the early daffo- 
dil ; the daisy ; the almond tree in blossom; the 
peach tree in blossom ; the cornelian tree in 
blossom ; sweet-briar. In April follow the 
double white violet ; the wall-flower ; the stock- 
gilliflower ; the cowslip ; flower-de-luces ; and 
lilies of all natures ; rosemary-flowers ; the tu- 
lip ; the double peony ; the pale daffodil ; the 
French honeysuckle; the cherry tree in blos- 
som ; the Damascene and plum trees in blossom ; 
the white thorn in leaf; the lilac tree. In 
May and June come pinks of all sorts, espe- 
cially the blush pink ; roses of all kinds, ex- 
cept the musk, which comes later; honey- 
suckles ; strawberries ; bugloss ; columbine ; the 
French marygold ; flos Africanus ; cherry tree in 
fruit; ribes; figs in fruit; rasps; vine flowers;. 



213 

lavender in flowers ; the sweet satyrian, with 
the white flower ; herba muscaria ; lilium con- 
vallium ; the apple tree in blossom. In July 
come gilliflowers of all varieties ; musk roses ; 
the lime tree in blossom ; early pears and 
plums in fruit; gennitings; codlins. In August 
come plums of all sorts in fruit; pears; apricots; 
berberies ; fllberds ; muskmelons; monks-hoods 
of all colours. In September come grapes ; ap- 
ples ; poppeys of all colours; peaches; meloco- 
tones ; nectarines ; cornelians ; wardens ; quinces. 
In October and the beginning of November 
come services ; medlars ; bullaces : roses cut or 
removed to come late; hollyoaks; and such 
like. These particulars are for the climate of 
London: but my meaning is perceived, that 
you may have " ver perpetuum," as the place 
affords. 

And because the breath of flowers is far 
sweeter in the air, (where it comes and goes, 
like the warbling of music,) than in the hand, 
therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, 
than to know what be the flowers and plants 
that do best perfume the air. Roses, damask 
and red, are fast flowers of their smells ; so 
that you may walk by a whole row of them, 



214 

and find nothing of their sweetness ; yea, 
though it be in a morning's dew. Bays, like- 
wise, yield no smell as they grow, rosemary 
little, nor sweet marjoram ; that which, above 
all others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, 
is the violet ; especially the white double, vio- 
let, which comes twice a year, about the mid- 
dle of April, and about Bartholomew-tide. 
Next to that is the musk-rose; then the straw- 
berry leaves dying, with a most excellent cor- 
dial smell; then the flower of the vines; it 
is a little dust, like the dust of a bent, 
which grows upon the cluster in the first 
coming forth ; then sweet-briar, then wall- 
flowers, which are very delightful to be set 
under a parlour or lower chamber window ; 
then pinks and gilliflowers, especially the 
matted pink and clove gilliflower ; then the 
flowers of the lime tree ; then the honey- 
suckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of 
bean-flowers I speak not, because they are 
field flowers: but those which perfume the 
air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, 
but being trodden upon and crushed, arc 
three : that is, burnet, wild thyme, and water- ' 
mints ; therefore you are to set whole alleys of 



215 

them, to have the pleasure when you walk or 
tread. 

For gardens, (speaking of those which are 
indeed prince-like, as we have done of build- 
ings,) the contents ought not well to be under 
thirty acres of ground, and to be divided into 
three parts ; a green in the entrance, a heath 
or desert in the going forth, and the main 
garden in the midst, besides alleys on both 
sides; and I like well, that four acres of 
ground be assigned to the green, six to the 
heath, four and four to either side, and twelve 
to the main garden. The green hath two 
pleasures ; the one, because nothing is more 
pleasant to the eye than green grass kept 
finely shorn ; the other, because it will give 
you a fair alley in the midst, by which you 
may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is 
to inclose the garden : but because the alley- 
will be long, and, in great heat of the year or 
day, you ought not to buy the shade in the 
garden by going in the sun through the green, 
therefore you are, of either side the green, to 
plant a covert alley, upon carpenter's work, 
about twelve foot in height, by which you may 
go in shade into the garden. As for the 



216 

making of knots or figures with divers co- 
loured garths, that they may lie under the 
windows of the house on that side which the 
garden stands, they be but toys ; you may see 
as good sights many times in tarts. The 
garden is best to be square, encompassed on 
all the four sides with a stately arched hedge ; 
the arches to be upon pillars of carpenter's 
work, of some ten foot high, and six foot 
broad ; and the spaces between of the same 
dimension with the breadth of the arch. Over 
the arches let there be an entire hedge of 
some four foot high, framed also upon car- 
penter's work ; and upon the upper hedge, 
over every arch, a little turnet, with a belly 
enough to receive a cage of birds; and over 
every space between the arches some other 
little figure, with broad plates of round co- 
loured glass gilt, for the sun to play upon : but 
this hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, 
not steep, but gently slope, of some six foot, 
set all with flowers. Also I understand, that 
this square of the garden should not be the 
whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on 
either side ground enough for diversity of side 
alleys, unto which the two covert alleys of 



217 

the green may deliver you; but there must be 
no alleys .with hedges at either end of this great 
enclosure ; not at the hither end, for letting your 
prospect upon this fair hedge from the green ; 
nor at the farther end, for letting your prospect 
from the hedge through the arches upon the 
heath. 

For the ordering of the ground within the 
great hedge, I leave it to variety of device; 
advising, nevertheless, that whatsoever form 
you cast it into first, it be not too busy or full 
of work: wherein I, for my part, do not like 
images cut out in juniper or other garden stuff; 
they be for children. Little low hedges, round 
like welts, with some pretty pyramids, I like 
well ; and in some places fair columns upon 
frames of carpenter's work. I would also have 
the alleys spacious and fair. You may have 
closer alleys upon the side grounds, but none 
in the main garden. I wish also, in the very 
middle, a fair mount, with three ascents and 
alleys, enough for four to walk abi'east; which 
I would have to be perfect circles, with- 
out any bulwarks or embossments; and the 
whole mount to be thirty feet high ; and 
some fine banqueting house, with some chim- 



218 

neys neatly cast, and without too much 
glass „ 

For fountains, they are a great beauty and 
refreshment; but pools mar all, and make the 
garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. 
Fountains I intend to be of two natures; the 
one that sprinkleth or spouteth water ; the 
other a fair receipt of water of some thirty or 
forty feet square, but without fish, or slime, or 
mud. For the first, the ornaments of images, 
gilt or of marble, which are in use, do well : 
but the main matter is so to convey the water, 
as it never stay either in the bowls or in the 
cistern; that the water be never by rest dis- 
coloured, green or red, or the like, or gather 
any mossiness or putrefaction; besides that it 
is to be cleansed every day by the hand : also 
some steps up to it, and some fine pavement 
about it do well. As for the other kind of 
fountain, which we may call a bathing pool, it 
may admit much curiosity and beauty, where- 
with we will not trouble ourselves ; as, that the 
bottom be finely paved, and with images ; the 
sides likewise; and withal embellished with 
coloured glass, and such things of lustre; en- 
compassed also with fine rails of low statues : 



219 

but the main point is the same which we 
mentioned in the former kind of fountain; 
which is, that the water be in perpetual mo- 
tion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and 
delivered into it by fair spouts, and then dis- 
charged away under ground by some equality 
of bores, that it stay little ; and for fine devices 
of arching water without spilling, and making 
it rise in several forms, (of feathers, drinking 
glasses, canopies, and the like,) they be pretty 
things to look on, but nothing to health and 
sweetness. 

For the heath, which was the third part 
of our plot, I wish it to be framed as much as 
may be to a natural wildness. Trees I would 
have none in it, but some thickets made only 
of sweetbriar and honeysuckle, and some wild 
vine amongst ; and the ground set with violets, 
strawberries, and primroses; for these are sweet, 
and prosper in the shade; and these are to 
be in the heath here and there, not in any 
order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of 
mole-hills, (such as are in wild heaths), to be 
set, some with wild thyme ; some with pinks ; 
some with germander, that gives a good flower 
to the eye ; some with periwinkle ; some with 



220 

violets; some with strawberries; some with 
cowslips; some with daisies; some with red 
roses; some with lilium convallium ; some with 
sweet-williams red ; some with bear's foot, and 
the like low flowers, being withal sweet and 
sightly : part of which heaps to be with stand- 
ards of little bushes pricked upon their top, 
and part without : the standards to be roses, 
juniper, holly, berberries, (but here and there, 
because of the smell of their blossom,) red cur- 
rants, gooseberries, rosemary, bays, swectbriar, 
and such like ; but these standards to be kept 
with cutting, that they grow not out of 
course. 

For the side grounds, you are to fill them 
with variety of alleys private, to give a full 
shade ; some of them wheresoever the sun be. 
You are to frame some of them likewise for 
shelter, that when the wind blows sharp you 
may walk as in a gallery : and those alleys must 
be likewise hedged at both ends, to keep out 
the wind ; and these closer alleys must be ever 
finely gravelled, and no grass, because of going 
wet. In many of these alleys, likewise, you are 
to set fruit trees of all sorts, as well upon the 
walls as in ranges ; and this should be generally 



221 

observed, that the borders wherein you plant 
your fruit trees be fair and large and low, and 
not steep; and set with fine flowers, but thin 
and sparingly, lest they deceive the trees. At 
the end of both the side grounds I would have 
a mount of some pretty height, leaving the wall 
of the enclosure breast high to look abroad into 
the fields. 

For the main garden, I do not deny but there 
should be some fair alleys, ranged on both sides 
with fruit trees, and some pretty tufts of fruit 
trees and arbours with seats, set in some decent 
order; but these to be by no means set too 
thick, but to leave the main garden so as it be 
not close, but the air open and free. For as for 
shade, I would have you rest upon the alleys of 
the side grounds, there to walk, if you be dis- 
posed, in the heat of the year or day ; but to 
make account, that the main garden is for the 
more temperate parts of the year, and, in the 
heat of summer, for the morning and the even- 
ing, or overcast days. 

For aviaries, I like them not, except they 
be of that largeness as they may be turfed, and 
have living plants and bushes set in them ; that 
the birds may have more scope and natural 



222 

nestling, and that no foulness appear on the 
floor of the aviary. So I have made a plat- 
form of a princely garden, partly by precept, 
partly by drawing ; not a model, but some ge- 
neral lines of it; and in this I have spared for 
no cost : but it is nothing for great princes, that, 
for the most part taking advice with workmen, 
with no less cost set their things together ; and 
sometimes add statues and such things for state 
and magnificence, but nothing to the true plea- 
sure of a garden. 



OF NEGOTIATING. 

It is generally better to deal by speech than 
by letter ; and by the mediation of a third, 
than by a man's self. Letters are good, when 
a man would draw an answer by letter back 
again ; or when it may serve for a man's justi- 
fication afterwards to produce his own letter; 
or where it may be in danger to be inter- 
rupted, or heard by pieces. To deal in person 
is good when a man's face breedeth regard, as 
commonly with inferiors; or in tender cases, 
where a man's eye upon the countenance of 



223 

him, with whom he speaketh, may give him a 
direction how far to go ; and generally where 
a man will reserve to himself liberty, either to 
disavow or to expound. In choice of instru- 
ments, it is better to choose men of a plainer 
sort, that are like to do that that is committed 
to them, and to report back again faithfully 
the success, than those that are cunning to 
contrive out of other men's business somewhat 
to grace themselves, and will help the matter 
in report for satisfaction sake. Use also such 
persons as affect the business wherein they are 
employed, for that quickeneth much ; and 
such as are fit for the matter; as bold men 
for expostulation, fair-spoken men for per- 
suasion, crafty men for inquiry and observa- 
tion, froward and absurd men for business that 
doth not well bear out itself. Use also such 
as have been lucky, and prevailed before in 
things wherein you have employed them ; for 
that breeds confidence, and they will strive to 
maintain their prescription. It is better to 
sound a person, with whom one deals, afar ofF ? 
than to fall upon the point at first ; except you 
mean to surprise him by some short question. 
It is better dealing with men in appetite, than 



224 

with those that are where they would be. If 
a man deal with another upon conditions, the 
start of first performance is all ; which a man 
cannot reasonably demand, except either the 
nature of the thing be such which must go 
before ; or else a man can persuade the other 
party, that he shall still need him in some other 
thing ; or else that he be counted the honester 
man. All practice is to discover, or to work. 
Men discover themselves in/ trust ; in passion ; 
at unawares ; and of necessity, when they would 
have somewhat done, and cannot find an apt 
pretext. If you would work any man, you 
must either know his nature and fashions, and 
so lead him ; or his ends, and so persuade him; 
or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe 
him ; or those that have interest in him, and 
so govern him. In dealing with cunning per- 
sons, we must ever consider their ends to in- 
terpret their speeches ; and it is good to say 
little to them, and that which they least look 
for. In all negotiations of difficulty, a man 
may not look to sow and reap at once ; but 
must prepare business, and so ripen it by 
degrees. 



225 



OF FOLLOWERS AND FRIENDS. 

Costly followers are not to be liked; lest 
while a man maketh his train longer, he make 
his wings shorter. I reckon to be costly, not 
them alone which charge the purse, but which 
are wearisome and importune in suits. Ordi- 
nary followers ought to challenge no higher 
conditions than countenance, recommendation, 
and protection from wrongs. Factious follow- 
ers are worse to be liked, which follow not 
upon affection to him with whom they range 
themselves, but upon discontentment conceived 
against some other ; whereupon commonly en- 
sueth that ill intelligence that we many times 
.see between great personages. Likewise glo- 
rious followers, who make themselves as trum- 
pets of the commendation of those they follow, 
are full of inconvenience; for they taint busi- 
ness through want of secrecy ; and they export 
honour from a man, and make him a return in 
envy. There is a kind of followers, likewise, 
which are dangerous, being indeed espials; 
which inquire the secrets of the house, and 
Q 



22(5 

bear tales of them to others; yet such men 
many times are in great favour ; for they are 
officious, and commonly exchange tales. The 
following by certain estates of men, answerable 
to that which a great person himself professeth, 
(as of soldiers to him that hath been employed 
in the wars, and the like,) hath ever been a 
thing civil, and well taken even in monar- 
chies; so it be without too much pomp or 
popularity : but the most honourable kind of 
following is to be followed as one that appre- 
hendeth to advance virtue and desert in all 
sorts of persons ; and yet where there is no 
Eminent odds in sufficiency, it is better to take 
with the more passable, than with the more 
able; and, besides, to speak truth in base 
times, active men are of more use than vir- 
tuous. It is true, that in government it is 
good to use men of one rank equally ; for to 
countenance some extraordinarily is to make 
them insolent, and the rest discontent; because 
they may claim a due: but contrariwise in 
favour, to use men with much difference and 
election is good ; for it maketh the persons 
preferred more thankful, and the rest more 
officious ; because all is of favour. It is good 



227 

discretion not to make too much of any man 
at the first; because one cannot hold out that 
proportion. To be governed, (as we call it,) 
by one, is not safe ; for it shews softness, and 
gives a freedom to scandal and disreputation ; 
for those that would not censure, or speak ill 
of a man immediately, will talk more boldly 
of those that are so great with them, and 
thereby wound their honour^ yet to be dis- 
tracted with many is worse ; for it makes men 
to be of the last impression, and full of change. 
To take advice of some few friends is ever 
honourable; for lookers-on many times see 
more than gamesters; -and the vale best dis- 
covered the hill. There is little friendship in 
the world, and least of all between equals, 
which was wont to be magnified. That that 
is, is between superior and inferior, whose for- 
tunes may comprehend the one the other. 



OF SUITORS. 

Many ill matters and projects are undertaken ; 
and private suits do putrefy the public good. 
Many good matters are undertaken with bad 



228 

minds; I mean not only corrupt minds, but 
crafty minds, that intend not performance. 
Some embrace suits which never mean to deal 
effectually in them ; but if they see there may 
be life in the matter by some other mean, they 
will be content to win a thank, or take a se- 
cond reward, or, at least, to make use in the 
mean time of the suitor's hopes. Some take 
hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some 
other; or to make an information, whereof 
they could not otherwise have apt pretext, 
without care what become of the suit when 
that turn is served ; or, generally, to make 
other men's business a kind of entertainment 
to bring in their own : nay, some undertake 
suits with a full purpose to let them fall; to 
the end to gratify the adverse party or com- 
petitor. Surely there is in some sort a right 
in every suit ; either a right of equity, if it be 
a suit of controversy ; or a right of desert, if 
it be a suit of petition. If affection lead a 
man to favour the wrong side in justice, let 
him rather use his countenance to compound 
the matter, than to carry it. If affection lead 
a man to favour the less worthy in desert, let 
him do it without depraving or disabling the 



2 C 29 

better descrver. In suits which a man doth 
not well understand, it is good to refer them 
to some friend of trust and judgment, that may 
report whether he may deal in them with ho- 
nour ; but let him choose well his referendaries, 
for else he may be led by the nose. Suitors 
are so distasted with delays and abuses, that 
plain dealing in denying to deal in suits at 
first, and reporting the success barely, and in 
challenging no more thanks than one hath 
deserved, is grown not only honourable, but 
also gracious. In suits of favour, the first 
coming ought to take little place ; so far forth 
Consideration may be had of his trust, that if 
intelligence of the matter could not otherwise 
have been had but by him, advantage be not 
taken of the note, but the party left to his 
other means; and in some sort recompensed 
for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value 
of a suit, is simplicity ; as well as to be ig- 
norant of the right thereof, is want of con- 
science. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of 
obtaining ; for voicing them to be in forward- 
ness, may discourage some kind of suitors ; but 
doth quicken and awake others : but timing of 
the suit is the principal; timing I say, not 



230 

only in respect of the person, that should grant 
it, but in respect of those which are like to 
cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean, 
rather choose the fittest mean, than the greatest 
mean; and rather them that deal in certain 
things, than those that are general. The re- 
paration of a denial is sometimes equal to the 
first grant, if a man shew himself neither de- 
jected nor discontented. " Iniquum petas, ut 
" sequum feras," is a good rule where a man 
hath strength of favour : but, otherwise, a maa 
were better rise in his suit ' r for he that would 
have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, 
will not, in the conclusion, lose both the suitor 
and his own former favour. Nothing is thought 
so easy a request to a great person, as his let- 
ter ; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is 
so much out of his feputation. There are no 
worse instruments than these general contrivers- 
of suits ; for they are but a kind of poison and 
infection to public proceedings. 



231 



OF STUDIES. 

Studies serve for delight; for ornament, and 
for ability. Their chief use for delight is in 
privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in 
discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment 
and disposition of business : for expert men can 
execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one 
by one : but the general counsels, and the plots 
and marshalling of affairs, come best from those 
that are learned. To spend too much time in 
studies is sloth ; to use them too much for 
ornament, is affectation; to make judgment 
wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scho- 
lar : they perfect nature, and are perfect by 
experience : for natural abilities are like na- 
tural plants, that need pruning by study ; and 
studies themselves do give forth directions too 
much at large, except they be bounded in by 
experience. Crafty men contemn studies, 
simple men admire them, and wise men use 
them ; for they teach not their own use ; but 
that is a wisdom without them, and above 
them> won by observation. Read not to con- 



232 

tradict and confute, nor to believe and take for 
granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to 
weigh and consider. Some books are to be 
tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few 
to be chewed and digested : that is, some books 
are to be read only in parts ; others to be read, 
but not curiously : and some few to be read 
wholly, and with diligence and attention. 
Some books also may be read by deputy, and 
extracts made of them by others; but that 
would be only in the less important argu- 
ments, and the meaner sort of books; else 
distilled books are, like common distilled wa- 
ters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full 
.man ; conference a ready man ; and writing 
an exact man ; and, therefore, if a man write 
little, he had need have a great memory ; if he 
confer little, he had need have a present wit ; 
and if he read little, he had need have much 
cunning, to seem to know that he doth not* 
Histories make men wise; poets witty; the 
mathematic subtile ; natural philosophy deep ; 
moral, grave ; logic and rhetoric, able to con- 
tend; " Abeunt studia in mores :" nay, there 
is no stond or impediment in the wit, but may 
be wrought out by fit studies : like as diseases 



233 

of the body may have appropriate exercises ; 
bowling is good for the stone and reins ; shoot- 
ing for the lungs and breast ; gentle walking 
for the stomach; riding for the head, and the 
like ; so if a man's wit be wandering, let him 
Study the mathematics ; for in demonstrations, 
if his wit be called away never so little, he 
must begin again ; if his wit be not apt to 
distinguish or find differences, let him study 
the schoolmen; for they are " Cymini sec- 
" tores;" if he be not apt to beat over matters, 
and to call upon one thing to prove and illus- 
trate another, let him study the lawyers' cases : 
so every defect of the mind may have a special 
receipt. 



OF FACTION. 

Many have an opinion not wise, that for a 
prince to govern his estate, or for a great person 
to govern his proceedings, according to the re- 
spect to factions, is a principal part of policy ; 
whereas, contrariwise, the chiefest wisdom is, 
either in ordering those things which are ge- 
neral, and wherein men of several factions do 



234 

nevertheless agree, or in dealing with corre- 
spondence to particular persons, one by one : 
but I say not, that the consideration of factions 
is to be neglected. Mean men, in their rising, 
must adhere; but great men, that have strength 
in themselves, were better to maintain them- 
selves indifferent and neutral : yet even in be- 
ginners, to adhere so moderately, as he be a 
man of the one faction, which is most passable 
with the other, commonly giveth best way* 
The lower and weaker faction is the firmer in 
conjunction; and it is often seen, that a few 
that are stiff do tire out a greater number 
that are more moderate. When one of the 
factions is extinguished, the remaining subdi- 
vided; as the faction between Lucullus and 
the rest of the nobles of the senate, (which they 
called " optimates/') held out a while against 
the faction of Pompey and Caesar ; but when 
the senate's authority was pulled down, Caesar 
and Pompey soon after brake. The faction or 
party of Antonius and Octavianus Caesar, 
against Brutus and Cassius, held out likewise 
for a time ; but when Brutus and Cassius were 
overthrown, then soon after Antonius and 
Octavianus brake and subdivided. These ex- 



235 

amples are of wars, but the same holdeth in 
private factions, and, therefore, those that are 
seconds in factions, do many times, when the 
faction sub divideth, prove principals; but many- 
times also they prove cyphers and cashier- 
ed ; for many a man's strength is in opposi- 
tion ; and when that faileth, he groweth out 
of use. It is commonly seen, that men once 
placed take in with the contrary faction to 
that by which they enter ; thinking, belike, that 
they have the first sure, and now are ready for 
a new purchase. The traitor in faction lightly 
goeth away with it ; for when matters have 
stuck long in balancing, the winning of some 
one man casteth them, and he getteth all thfr 
thanks. The even carriage between two fac- 
tions proceedeth not always of moderation, 
but of a trueness to a man's self, with end to 
make use of both. Certainly in Italy they hold 
it a little suspect hi popes, when they have often 
in their mouth " Padre commune;" and take 
it to be a sign of one that meaneth to refer all 
to the greatness of his own house. Kings had 
need beware how they side themselves, and 
make themselves as of a faction or party ; for 
leagues within the state are ever pernicious to 



236 

monarchies ; for they raise an obligation para- 
mount to obligation of sovereignty, and make 
the king, " tanquam unus ex nobis ;" as was 
to be seen in the league of France. When 
factions are carried too high and too violently, 
it is a sign of weakness in princes, and much 
to the prejudice both of their authority and 
business. The motions of factions under kings 
ought to be like the motions, (as the astrono- 
mers speak,) of the inferior orbs ; which may 
have their proper motions, but yet still are 
quietly carried by the higher motion of " pri- 
w mum mobile." 



OF CEREMONIES AND RESPECTS. 

He that is only real had need have exceeding 
great parts of virtue; as the stone had need to 
be rich that is set without foil : but if a man 
mark it well, it is in praise and commendation 
of men, as it is in gettings and gains ; for the 
proverb is true, " That light gains make heavy 
u purses ;" for light gains come thick, whereas 
great come but now and then : so it is true, 
that small matters win great commendation, 



237 

because they are continually in use and in 
note ; whereas the occasion of any great virtue 
cometh but on festivals : therefore it doth much 
add to a man's reputation, and is, (as queen 
Isabella said,) like perpetual letters commen- 
datory, to have good forms ; to attain them, 
it almost sufficeth not to despise them ; for so 
shall a man observe them in others ; and let 
him trust himself with the rest : for if he la- 
bour too much to express them, he shall lose 
their grace ; which is to be natural and un- 
affected. Some men's behaviour is like a verse, 
wherein every syllable is measured : how can 
a man comprehend great matters, that break- 
eth his mind too much to small observations ? 
Not to use ceremonies at all, is to teach others 
not to use them again ; and so diminisheth re- 
spect to himself; especially they be not to be 
omitted to strangers and formal natures : but 
the dwelling upon them, and exalting them 
above the moon, is not only tedious, but doth 
diminish the faith and credit of him that 
speaks ; and, certainly, there is a kind of con- 
veying of effectual and imprinting passages 
amongst compliments, which is of singular use 
if a man can hit upon it. Amongst a man's 



238 

peers, a man shall be sure of familiarity ; and 
therefore it is good a little to keep state ; 
amongst a man's inferiors, one shall be sure 
of reverence ; and therefore it is good a little 
to be familiar. He that is too much in any- 
thing, so that he giveth another occasion of 
society, maketh himself cheap. To apply one- 
self to others is good; so it be with demon- 
stration, that a man doth it upon regard, and 
not upon facility. It is a good precept, gene- 
rally in seconding another, yet to add some- 
what of one's own; as if you will grant his 
opinion, let it be with some distinction ; if you 
will follow his motion, let it be with condi- 
tion; if you allow his counsel, let it be with 
alleging farther reason. Men had need be- 
ware how they be too perfect in compliments ; 
for be they never so sufficient otherwise, their 
^nviers will be sure to give them that attribute, 
to the disadvantage of their greater virtues* 
It is loss also in business to be too full of re- 
spects, or to be too curious in observing times 
and opportunities. Solomon saith, " He that 
41 considereth the wind shall not sow, and he 
u that looketh to the clouds shall not reap/* 
A wise man will make more opportunities 



239 

than he finds. Men's behaviour should be like 
their apparel ; not too strait or point device*, 
but free for exercise or motion. 



OF PRAISE, 

Praise is the reflection of virtue; but it is as 
the glass or body which giveth the reflection : 
if it be from the common people, it is com- 
monly false and nought, and rather followeth 
vain persons, than virtuous ; for the common 
people understand not many excellent virtues : 
the lowest virtues draw praise from them, the 
middle virtues work in them astonishment or 
admiration; but of the highest virtues they 
have no sense or perceiving at all ; but shews, 
and " species virtutibus similes/' serve best 
with them. Certainly, fame is like a river, 
that beareth up things light and swollen, and 
drowns things weighty and solid ; but if per- 
sons of quality and judgment concur, then it 
is, (as the Scripture saith,) " Nomen bonum 
" instar unguenti fragrantis ;" it filleth all 
round about, and will not easily away ; for the 
odours of ointments are more durable that 



240 

those of flowers. There be so many false 
points of praise, that a man may justly hold it 
in suspect. Some praises proceed merely of 
flattery; and if he be an ordinary flatterer, 
he will have certain common attributes, which 
may serve every man ; if he be a cunning flat- 
terer, he will follow the arch-flatterer, which 
is a man's self, and wherein a man thinketh 
best of himself, therein the flatterer will up- 
hold him most : but if he be an impudent flat- 
terer, look wherein a man is conscious to him- 
self that he is most defective, and is most out 
of countenance in himself, that will the flat- 
terer entitle him to perforce, " spreta consci- 
" entia." Some praises come of good wishes 
and respects, which is a form due in civility to 
kings and great persons, "laudando pra^cipere;" 
when by telling men what they are, the}' re- 
present to them what they should be. Some 
men are praised maliciously to their hurt, 
thereby to stir envy and jealousy towards them; 
" pessimum genus inimicorum laudantium:" 
insomuch as it was a proverb amongst the 
Grecians that, " He that was praised to his 
" hurt, should have a push rise upon his nose;" 
as we say, that a blister will rise upon one's 



241 

tongue that tells a lie ; certainly, moderate 
praise, used with opportunity, and not vulgar, 
is that which doth the good. Solomon saith, 
" He that praiseth his friend aloud rising early, 
" it shall be to him no better than a curse/' 
Too much magnifying of man or matter doth 
irritate contradiction, and procure envy and 
scorn. To praise a man's self cannot be de- 
cent, except it be in rare cases ; but to praise a 
man's office or profession, he may do it with 
good grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. 
The cardinals of Rome, which are theologues 
and friars and schoolmen, have a phrase of 
notable contempt and scorn towards civil busi- 
ness ; for they call all temporal business of 
wars, embassages, judicature, and other em- 
ployments, shirrerie, which is under sheriffries, 
as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs 
and catchpoles ; though many times those 
under-sheriffries do more good than their high 
speculations. St. Paul, when he boasts of him-, 
self, doth oft interlace, " I speak like a fool;" 
but speaking of his calling, he saith, " magnifi- 
" cabo apostolatum meum." 



c 24r2 



OF VAIN GLORY. 

It was prettily devised of y£sop ; the fly sat 
upon the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and 
said, "What a dust do I raise ?" So are there 
some vain persons, that, whatsoever goeth alone 
or moveth upon greater means, if they have 
never so little hand in it, they think it is they 
that carry it. They that are glorious must 
needs be factious ; for all bravery stands upon 
comparisons. They must needs be violent to 
make good their own vaunts: neither can they 
be secret, and therefore not effectual; but ac- 
cording to the French proverb, " bcaucoup de 
•" bruit, peu de fruit/* " much bruit, little 
" fruit." Yet, certainly, there is use of this 
quality in civil affairs : where there is an opi- 
nion and fame to be created, either of virtue 
or greatness, these men are good trumpeters. 
Again, as Titus Livius noteth in the case of 
Antiochus and the /Etolians, there are some- 
times great effects of cross lies; as if a man 
that negotiates between two princes, to draw 
them to join in a war against the third, doth 



243 

extol the forces of either of them above mea- 
sure, the one to the other: and sometimes, he 
that deals between man and man raiseth his 
own credit with both, by pretending greater 
interest than he hath in either: and in these, 
and the like kinds, it often falls out, that some- 
what is produced of nothing ; for lies are suffi- 
cient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on 
substance. In military commanders and sol- 
diers vain glory is an essential point ; for as 
iron sharpens iron, so by glory one courage 
sharpeneth another. In cases of great enter- 
prize upon charge and adventure, a composition 
of glorious natures doth put life into business ; 
and those, that are of solid and sober natures, 
have more of the ballast than of the sail. In 
fame of learning the flight will be slow withr 
out some feathers of ostentation ; " Qui de 
" contemnenda gloria libros scribunt, nomen 
" suura inscribunt." Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, 
were men full of ostentation: certainly vain 
glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory ; 
and virtue was never so beholden to human 
nature, as it received its due at the second 
hand. Neither had the fame of Cicero, Seneca, 
Plinius Secundus, borne her age so well if it 



244 

.had not been joined with some vanity in them- 
selves ; like unto varnish, that makes ceilings 
not only shine, but last. But all this while, 
when I speak of vain glory, I mean not of that 
property that Tacitus doth attribute to Muci- 
anus; " Omnium, qua? dixerat feceratque, arte 
" quadam ostentator :" for that proceeds not of 
vaniry, but of natural magnanimity and dis- 
cretion ; and, in some persons, is not only 
comely, but gracious: for excusations, cessions, 
modesty itself well governed, are but arts of 
ostentation; and amongst those arts there is 
none better than that which Plinius Secundus 
speaketh of; which is to be liberal of praise 
and commendation to others, in that wherein a 
man's self hath any perfection : for saith Pliny 
very wittily, " In commending another you do 
" yourself right ;" for he that you commend is. 
either superior to you in that you commend, 
or inferior ; if he be inferior, if he be to be 
commended, you much more ; if he be superior, 
jf he be not to be commended, you much less, 
glorious. Men are the scorn of wise men, the 
admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and 
the slaves of their own vaunts. 



245 



OF HONOUR AND REPUTATION. 

The winning of honour is but the revealing of 
a man's virtue and worth without disadvan- 
tage; for some in their actions do woo and 
affect honour and reputation ; which sort of 
men are commonly much talked of, but in- 
wardly little admired : and some, contrariwise, 
darken their virtue in the shew of it ; so as 
they be undervalued in opinion. If a man 
perform that which hath not been attempted 
before, or attempted and given over, or hath 
been atchieved, but not with so good circum- 
stance, he shall purchase more honour than 
by effecting a matter of greater difficulty, or 
virtue, wherein he is but a follower. If a man 
so temper his actions, as in some one of them 
he doth content every faction or combination 
of people, the music will be the fuller. A man 
is an ill husband of his honour that entereth 
into any action, the failing wherein may dis- 
grace him more than the carrying of it through 
can honour him. Honour that is gained and 
broken upon another hath the quickest rerlec- 



tion, like diamonds cut with faseets; and, 
therefore, let a man contend to excel any com- 
petitors of his in honour, in out-shooting them 
if he can in their own bow. Discreet fol- 
lowers and servants help much to reputation ; 
" Omnis fama a domesticis emanat." Envy, 
which is the canker of honour, is best distin- 
guished by declaring a man's self in his ends, 
rather to seek merit than fame ; and by at- 
tributing a man's successes rather to divine 
Providence and felicity, than to his own vir- 
tue or policy. The true marshalling of the 
degrees of sovereign honour are these : in the 
first place are " conditores imperiorum," foun- 
ders of states and commonwealths ; such as 
were Romulus, Cyrus, Caesar, Ottoman, Is- 
mael: in the second place are " legislators," 
lawgivers ; which are also called second foun- 
ders, or " perpetui principes," because they go- 
vern by their ordinances after they are gone; 
such were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Edgar, 
Alphonsus of Castile, the wise, that made the 
" Siete patridas:" in the third place are " li- 
" bcratores," or " salvatores ;" such as com- 
pound the long miseries of civil wars, or de- 
liver their countries from servitude of strangers 



247 

or tyrants; as Augustus Caesar, Vespasianus, 
Aurelianus, Theodoricus, king Henry the Se- 
venth of England, king Henry the Fourth of 
France: in the fourth place are " propaga- 
" tores/' or " propugnatores imperii;" such as 
in honourable wars enlarge their territories, or 
make noble defence against invaders : and in 
the last place are " patres patriae/' which 
reign justly, and make the times good wherein 
they live ; both which last kinds need no ex- 
amples, they are in such number. Degrees 
of honour in subjects are first, "participes cu- 
" rarum," those upon whom princes do dis- 
charge the greatest weight of their affairs; 
their right hands, as we call them : the next 
are, " duces belli/' great leaders; such as are 
princes lieutenants, and do them notable ser- 
vices in the wars : the third are, " gratiosi/' 
favourites ; such as exceed not this scantling, 
to be solace to the sovereign, and harmless to 
the people: and the fourth, " negotiis pares ;" 
such as have great places under princes, and 
^execute their places with sufficiency. There 
is an honour, likewise, which may be ranked 
amongst the greatest, which happeneth rarely; 
that is, of such as sacrifice themselves to death 



248 

or danger for the good of their country; as 
was M. Regulus, and the two Deeii. 



OF JUDICATURE. 

Judges ought to remember that their office is 
"jusdicere," and not " jus dare;" to inter- 
pret law, and not to make law, or give law : 
else will it be like the authority claimed by 
the church of Rome; which, under pretext of 
exposition of Scripture, doth not stick to add 
and alter; and to pronounce that which they 
do not find, and by shew of antiquity to in- 
troduce novelty. Judges ought to be more 
learned than witty, more reverend than plau- 
sible, and more advised than confident. Above 
all things, integrity is their portion and proper 
virtue. Cursed, (saith the law,) " Is he that 
" removcth the landmark." The mislayer of 
a mere stone is to blame ; but it is the unjust 
judge that is the capital remover of landmarks 
when he defineth amiss of lands and property. 
One foul sentence doth more hurt than many 
foul examples ; for these do but corrupt the 
stream, the other corrupteth the fountain : so 



249 

saith Solomon ; " Fons turbatus, et vena cor- 
" rupta est Justus cadens in causa sua coram 
" adversario." The office of judges may have 
reference unto the parties that sue, unto the 
advocates that plead, unto the clerks and mi- 
nisters of justice underneath them, and to the 
sovereign or state above them. 

First, for the causes or parties that sue. 
There be, (saith the Scripture,) u that turn 
" judgment into wormwood;" and surely there 
be also that turn it into vinegar ; for injustice 
maketh it bitter, and delays make it sour. 
The principal duty of a judge is to suppress 
force and fraud ; whereof force is the more 
pernicious when it is open ; and fraud when 
it is close and disguised. Add thereto con- 
tentious suits, which ought to be spewed out, 
as the surfeit of courts. A judge ought to pre- 
pare his way to a just sentence, as God useth 
to prepare his way, by raising valleys and taking 
down hills : so when there appeareth on either 
side an high hand, violent prosecution, cunning 
advantages taken, combination, power, great 
counsel, then is the virtue of a judge seen to 
make inequality equal ; that he may plant his 
judgment as upon an even ground. " Qui for- 



250 

" titer emungit, elicit sanguinem ;" and where 
the wine-press is hard wrought, it yields a harsh 
wine that tastes of the grape-stone. Judges 
-must beware of hard constructions, and strained 
inferences ; for there is no worse torture than 
the torture of laws: especially in case of laws 
penal, they ought to have care, that that which 
was meant for terror be not turned into ri- 
gour; and that they bring not upon the people 
that shower whereof the Scripture speaketh, 
" Pluet super eos laqueos;" for penal laws 
pressed are a shower of snares upon the peo- 
ple : therefore let penal laws, if they have 
been sleepers of long, or if they be grown unfit 
for the present time, be by wise judges con- 
fined in the execution; " Judicis officium est, 
" ut res, ita tempora rerum," &c. In causes 
of life and death judges ought, (as far as the 
law permitteth,) in justice to remember mercy, 
and to cast a severe eye upon the example, but 
a merciful eye upon the person. 

Secondly, for the advocates and counsel 
that plead. Patience and gravity of hearing 
is an essential part of justice; and an over- 
speaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal. It is 
no grace to a judge first to find that which 



251 

he might have heard in due time from the 
bar; or to shew quickness of conceit in cut- 
ting off evidence or counsel too short; or to 
prevent information by questions, though per- 
tinent. The parts of a judge in hearing are 
four: to direct the evidence; to moderate 
length, repetition, or impertinency of speech ; 
to recapitulate, select, and collate the material 
points of that which hath been said; and to 
give the rule or sentence. Whatsoever is above 
these is too much, and proceedeth either of 
glory and willingness to speak, or of impa- 
tience to hear, or of shortness of memory, or 
of want of a stayed and equal attention. It is 
a strange thing to see that the boldness of ad- 
vocates should prevail with judges ; whereas 
they should imitate God, in whose seat they sit; 
who represseth the presumptuous, and giveth 
grace to the modest: but it is more strange 
that judges should have noted favourites, which 
cannot but cause multiplication of fees, and 
suspicion of by-ways. There is due from the 
judge to the advocate some commendation and 
gracing where causes are well handled and 
fair pleaded, especially towards the sid^ which 
obtaineth not; for that upholds in tie client 



252 

the reputation of his counsel, and beats down 
in him the conceit of his cause. There is 
likewise due to the public a civil reprehension 
of advocates where there appeareth cunning 
counsel, gross neglect, slight information, in- 
discreet pressing, or an over-bold defence : and 
let not the counsel at the bar chop with the 
judge, nor wind himself into the handling of 
the cause anew after the judge hath declared 
his sentence ; but, on the other side, let not the 
judge meet the cause halfway, nor give occa- 
sion to the party to say, his counsel' or proofs 
were not heard. 

Thirdly, for that that concerns clerks and 
ministers. The place of justice is an hallowed 
place ; and, therefore, not only the bench, but 
the footpace and precincts and purprise thereof 
ought to be preserved without scandal and cor- 
ruption ; for, certainly, grapes (as the Scrip- 
ture saith) " will not be gathered of thorns 
u or thistles;" neither can justice yield her 
fruit with sweetness amongst the briars and 
brambles of catching and polling clerks and 
ministers. The attendance of courts is subject 
to four bad instruments: first, certain persons 
that are sowers of suits; which make the court 



253 

swell, and the country pine : the second sort 
is of those that engage courts in quarrels of 
jurisdiction, and are not truly " amici curiae/' 
but u parasiti curia?," in puffing a court up 
beyond her bounds for their own scraps and 
advantages ; the third sort is of those that 
may be accounted the left hands of courts ; 
persons that are full of nimble and sinister 
tricks and shifts, whereby they pervert the 
plain and direct courses of courts, and bring 
justice into oblique lines and labyrinths : and 
the fourth is the poller and exacter of fees ; 
which justifies the common resemblance of the 
courts of justice to the bush, whereunto while 
the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is 
sure to lose part of his fleece. On the other 
side, an ancient clerk, skilful in precedents, 
wary in proceeding, and understanding in the 
business of the court, is an excellent finger of a 
court, and doth many times point the way to 
the judge himself. 

Fourthly, for that which may concern the 
sovereign and estate. Judges ought, above all, 
■ to remember the conclusion of the Roman 
twelve tables; " Salus populi supremalex;" 
and to know that laws, except they be in order 



254 

to that end, are but things captious, and ora- 
cles not well inspired : therefore it is an happy 
thing in a state when kings and states do often 
consult with judges ; and again, when judges 
do often consult with the king and state : the 
one, when there is matter of law intervenient 
in business of state; the other, when there is 
some consideration of state intervenient in mat- 
ter of law ; for many times the things deduced 
to judgment may be " meum" and " tuum," 
when the reason and consequence thereof may 
trench to point of estate : I call matter of 
estate not only the parts of sovereignty, but 
whatsoever introduceth any great alteration, 
or dangerous precedent ; or concerneth mani- 
festly any great portion of people : and let no 
man weakly conceive that just laws and true 
policy have any antipathy ; for the}* are like 
the spirits and sinews, that one moves with the 
other. Let judges also remember, that Solo- 
mon's throne was supported by lions on both 
sides: let them be lions, but yet lions under 
the throne ; being circumspect that they do 
not check or oppose any points of sovereignty. 
Let not judges also be so ignorant of their own 
right, as to think there is not left to them, as a 



255 



principal part of their office, a wise use and 
application of laws ; for they may remember 
what the Apostle saith of a greater law than 
theirs ; " Nos scimus quia lex bona est, modo 
u quis ea utatur legitime/' 



OF ANGER. 

To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a 
bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles : 
M Be angry, but sin not: let not the sun go 
" down upon your anger." Anger must be 
limited and confined, both in race and in time. 
We will first speak how r the natural inclina- 
tion and habit, " to be angry/' may be at- 
tempted and calmed ; secondly, how the par- 
ticular motions of anger may be repressed,. or r 
at least, refrained from doing mischief; thirdly^ 
how to raise anger, or appease anger in an- 
other. 

For the first, there is no other way but to 
meditate and ruminate well upon the effects 
of anger, how it troubles man's life : and the- 
best time to do this, is to look back upon 
anger when the fit is thoroughly over* Seneca 



25(5 

saith well, " that anger is like rain, which 
" breaks itself upon that it falls/' The Scrip- 
ture exhorteth us, " to possess our souls in 
" patience :" whosoever is out of patience, is 
out of possession of his soul. Men must not 
turn bees ; 

" Animasque in vulnere ponunt." 

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness ; as it 
appears well in the weakness of those subjects 
in whom it reigns ; children, women, old folks, 
sick folks. Only men must beware that they 
carry their anger rather with scorn than with 
fear ; so that they may seem rather to be above 
the injury than below it; which is a thing 
easily done, if a man will give law to himself 
in it. 

For the second point, the causes and motives 
of anger are chiefly three : first, to be too sen- 
sible of hurt : for no man is angry that feels 
not himself hurt ; and, therefore, tender and 
delicate persons must needs be oft angry, they 
have so many things to trouble them, which 
more robust natures have little sense of: the 
next is, the apprehension and construction of 
the injury offered to be, in the circumstances 



257 

thereof, full of contempt; for contempt is thai 
which putteth an edge upon anger as much 
or more than the hurt itself; and, therefore, 
when men are ingenious in picking out circum- 
stances of contempt, they do kindle their anger 
much : lastly, opinion of the touch of a man's 
reputation doth multiply and sharpen anger ; 
wherein the remedy is that a man should 
have, as Gonsalvo w r as wont to say, " telam 
" honoris crassiorem." But in all retrainings of 
anger it is the best remedy to win time, and 
to make a man's self believe that the opportu- 
nity of his revenge is not yet come ; but that he 
foresees a time for it, and so to still himself in 
the mean time, and reserve it. 

To contain anger from mischief, though it 
take hold of a man, there be two things where- 
of you must have special caution : the one, of 
extreme bitterness of w r ords, especially if they 
be aculeate and proper; for " communia male- 
" dicta" are nothing so much : and again, that 
in anger a man reveal no secrets ; for that makes 
him not fit for society : the other, that you do 
not peremptorily break off in any business in a, 
fit of anger ; but howsoever you shew bitterness, 
do not act any thing that is not revocable. 



258 

For raising and appeasing anger in another, 
it is done chiefly by choosing of times, when 
men are forwardest and worst disposed to in- 
cense them ; again, by gathering, (as was 
touched before,) all that you can find out to 
aggravate the contempt : and the two remedies 
are by the contraries : the former to take good 
times, when first to relate to a man an angry 
business, for the first impression is much; and 
the other is, to sever, as much as may be, the 
construction of the injury from the point of 
•contempt ; imputing it to misunderstanding, 
fear, passion, or what you will. 



OF VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 

Solomon saith " there is no new thing uptm 
" the earth :" so that as Plato had an imagi- 
nation that all knowledge was but remem- 
brance; so Solomon giveth his sentence, " that 
u all novelty is but oblivion :" whereby you 
may see, that the river of Lethe runneth as 
well above ground as below. There is an 
abstruse astrologer that saith, if it were not 
for two things that are constant, (the one is, 



259 

that the fixed stars ever stand at like distance 
one from another, and never come nearer to- 
gether nor go farther asunder ; the other, that 
the diurnal motion perpetually keepeth time,) 
no individual would last one moment : certain 
it is, that the matter is in a perpetual flux, and 
never at a stay. The great winding-sheets that 
bury all things in oblivion are two ; deluges 
and earthquakes. As for conflagrations and 
great droughts, they do not merely dispeople, 
but destroy. Phaeton's car went but a day ; 
and the three year's drought, in the time of 
Elias, was but particular, and left people alive. 
As for the great burnings by lightnings, which 
are often in the West Indies, they are but nar- 
row ; but in the other two destructions, by 
deluge and earthquake, it is further to be 
noted that the remnant of people, which hap 
to be reserved, are commonly ignorant and 
mountainous people, that can give no account 
of the time past; so that the oblivion is all 
one, as if none had been left. If you consider 
well of the people of the West Indies, it is 
very probable that they are a newer, or a 
younger people than the people of the old 
world: and it is much more likely that the 



260 

destruction, that hath heretofore been there, 
was not by earthquakes, (as the ^Egyptian 
priest told Solon concerning the island of At- 
lantis, that it was swallowed by an earth- 
quake,) but rather, that it was desolated by a 
particular deluge ; for earthquakes are seldom 
in those parts : but on the other side, they have 
such pouring rivers, as the rivers of Asia, and 
Africa, and Europe, are but brooks to them. 
Their Andes likewise, or mountains, are far 
higher than those with us; whereby it seems 
that the remnants of generation of men were, 
in such a particular deluge, saved. As for the 
observation that Machiavel hath, that the jea- 
lousy of sects doth much extinguish the me- 
mory of things; traducing Gregory the Great, 
that he did what in him lay to extinguish all 
heathen antiquities ; I do not find that those 
zeals do any great effects, nor last long : as 
it appeared in the succession of Sabinian, who 
did revive the former antiquities. 

The vicissitude or mutations in the superior 
globe are no fit matter for this present argu- 
ment. It. may be Plato's great year, if the 
world should last so long, would have some 
effect, not in renewing the state of like indi- 



261 

viduals, (for that is the fume of those that 
conceive the celestial bodies have more ac- 
curate influences upon these things below 
than indeed they have,) but in gross. Comets, 
out of question, have likewise power and ef- 
fect over the gross and mass of things : but 
they are rather gazed upon, and waited upon 
in their journey, than wisely observed in their 
effects; especially in their respective effects; 
that is, what kind of comet, for magnitude, co- 
lour, version of the beams, placing in the region 
of heaven, or lasting, produceth what kind of 
effects. 

There is a toy, which I have heard, and I 
would not have it given over, but waited upon 
a little. They say it is observed in the Low 
Countries, (I know not in what part,) that 
every five and thirty years the same kind and 
suit of years and weathers comes about again; 
as great frosts, great wet, great droughts, warm 
winters, summers with little heat, and the like ; 
and they call it the prime : it is a thing I do 
the rather mention, because, computing back- 
wards, I have found some concurrence. 

But to leave these points of nature, and to 
come to men. The greatest vicissitude of 



2&2 

things amongst men, is the vicissitude of sects 
and religions; for those orbs rule in men's minds 
most. The true religion is built upon the rock ; 
the rest are tossed upon the waves of time. To 
speak therefore of the causes of new sects, and 
to give some counsel concerning them, as far as 
the weakness of human judgment can give stay 
to so great revolutions. 

When the religion formerly received is 
rent by discords ; and when the holiness of 
the professors of religion is decayed and full 
of scandal; and withal the times be stupid, i- 
gnorant, and barbarous, you may doubt the 
springing up of a new sect : if then also there 
should arise any extravagant and strange spirit 
to make himself author thereof; all which 
points held when Mahomet published his law. 
If a new sect have not two properties, fear it 
not, for it will not spread : the one is the sup- 
planting, or the opposing of authority esta- 
blished ; for nothing is more popular than 
that; the other is the giving licence to plea- 
sures and a voluptuous life : for as for specu- 
lative heresies, (such as were in ancient times 
the Arians, and now the Arminians,) though 
they work mightily upon men's wits, yet they 



263 

do not produce any great alterations in states ; 
except it be by the help of civil occasions. 
There be three manner of plantations of new 
sects : by the power of signs and miracles ; by 
the eloquence and wisdom of speech and per- 
suasion ; and by the sword. For martyrdoms, 
I reckon them amongst miracles; because they 
seem to exceed the strength of human nature : 
and I ma} 7 do the like of superlative and ad- 
mirable holiness of life. Surely there is no 
better way to stop the rising of new sects and 
schisms, than to reform abuses ; to compound 
the smaller differences ; to proceed mildly, and 
not with sanguinary persecutions ; and rather 
to take off the principal authors, by winning 
and advancing them, than to enrage them by 
violence and bitterness. 

The changes and vicissitude in wars are 
man} 7 ; but chiefly in three things ; in the seats 
or stages of the war, in the weapons, and in 
the manner of the conduct. Wars, in ancient 
time, seemed more to move from east to west ; 
for the Persians, Assyrians, Arabians, Tartars, 
(which were the invaders,) were all eastern 
people. It is true, the Gauls were western ; 
but we read but of two incursions of theirs ; 



264 

the one to Gallo-Graecia, the other to Rome : 
but east and west have no certain points of 
heaven; and no more have the wars, either 
from the east or west, any certainty of obser- 
vation ; but north and south are fixed ; and it 
hath seldom or never been seen that the far 
southern people have invaded the northern, but 
contrariwise; whereby it is manifest, that the 
northern tract of the world is in nature the 
more martial region; be it in respect of the 
stars of that hemisphere, or of the great conti- 
nents that are upon the north ; whereas the 
south part, for aught that is known, is almost 
all sea ; or, (which is most apparent,) of the 
cold of the northern parts, which is that which, 
without aid of discipline, doth make the bodies 
hardest, and the courage warmest. 

Upon the breaking and shivering of a great 
state and empire, you may be sure to have 
wars; for great empires, while they stand, do 
enervate and destroy the forces of the natives 
which they have subdued, resting upon their 
own protecting forces; and then, when they 
fail also, all goes to ruin, and they become a 
prey : so was it in the decay of the Roman 
empire, and likewise in the empire of Al- 



265 

maigne, after Charles the Great, every bird 
taking a feather; and were not unlike to be- 
fal to Spain, if it should break. The great 
accessions and unions of kingdoms do likewise 
stir up wars: for when a state grows to an 
over power, it is like a great flood that will 
be sure to overflow ; as it hath been seen 
in the states of Rome, Turkey, Spain, and 
others. Look when the world hath fewest 
barbarous people, but such as commonly will 
not marry or generate except they know means 
to live, (as it is almost every where at this 
day, except Tartary,) there is no danger of 
inundations of people: but when there be 
great shoals of people, which go on to popu- 
late without foreseeing means of life and sus- 
tentation, it is of necessity that once in an age 
or two they discharge a portion of their people 
upon other nations, which the ancient north- 
ern people were wont to do by lot; casting 
lots what part should stay at home, and 
what should seek their fortunes. When a 
warlike state grows soft and effeminate, they 
may be sure of a war: for commonly such 
states are grown rich in the time of their 
degenerating; and so the prey inviteth, 



266 

and their decay in valour encourage th a 
war. 

As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under 
rule and observation: yet we see even they 
have returns and vicissitudes; for certain it is, 
that ordnance was known in the city of the 
Oxydracae in India; and was that which the 
Macedonians called thunder and lightning 
and magic; and it is well known that the 
use of ordnance hath been in China above two 
thousand years. The conditions of weapons 
and their improvement are, first, the fetching 
afar off; for that outruns the danger, as it is 
seen in ordnance and muskets : secondly, the 
strength of the percussion ; wherein likewise 
ordnance do exceed all arietations, and ancient 
inventions : the third is, the commodious use of 
them ; as that they may serve in all weathers ; 
that the carriage may be light and manageable, 
and the like. 

For the conduct of the war : at the first, 
men rested extremely upon number : they did 
put the wars likewise upon main force and 
valour, pointing days for pitched fields, and so 
trying it out upon an even match ; and they 
ware more ignorant in ranging and arraying 



2(57 

their battles. After they grew to rest upon 
number rather competent than vast ; they grew 
to advantages of place, cunning diversions, and 
the like ; and they grew more skilful in the or- 
dering of their battles. 

In the youth of a state, arms do flourish ; 
in the middle age of a state, learning; and 
then both of them together for a time : in the 
declining age of a state, mechanical arts and 
merchandize. Learning hath its infancy, when 
it is but beginning, and almost childish; then 
its youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; 
then its strength of years, when it is solid and 
reduced ; and lastly, its old age, when it waxeth 
dry and exhaust: but it is not good to look too 
long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, 
lest we become giddy : as for the philology of 
them, that is but a circle of tales, and therefore 
not fit for this writing. 



2(58 



A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY ON 
FAME. 

The poets make Fame a monster: they describe 
her in part finely and elegantly, and in part 
gravely and sententiously : they say, Look how 
man}- feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath 
underneath, so many tongues, so many voices, 
she pricks up so many ears. 

This is a flourish: there follow excellent 
parables, as that she gathereth strength in 
going; that she goeth upon the ground, and 
yet hideth her head in the clouds ; that in the 
day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and 
flyeth most by night; that she mingleth things 
done with things not done ; and that she is a 
terror to great cities : but that which passeth 
all the rest is, they do recount that the earth, 
mother of the giants that made war against 
Jupiter and were by him destroyed, thereupon 
in anger brought forth Fame; for certain it is, 
that rebels, figured by the giants and seditious 
fames and libels, are but brothers and sisters, 
masculine and feminine; but now if a man 



c 269 

can tame this monster, and bring her to feed 
at the hand, and govern her, and with her fly 
at other ravening fowl and kill them, it is some- 
what worth : but we are infected with the 
style of the poets. To speak now in a sad and 
serious manner : there is not in all the politics 
a place less handled, and more worthy to be 
handled, than this of fame ; we will therefore 
speak of these points : what are false fames ; 
and what are true fames ; and how they may 
be best discerned; how fames may be sown 
and raised ; how they may be spread and mul- 
tiplied ; and how they may be checked and 
laid dead ; and other things concerning the 
nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as 
there is scarcely any great action wherein it 
hath not a great part, especially in the war, 
Mucianus undid Vitellius by a fame that he 
scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to re- 
move the legions of Syria into Germany, and 
the legions of Germany into Syria ; whereupon 
the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed. 
Julius Caesar took Pompey unprovided, and 
laid asleep his industry and preparations by a 
fame that he cunningly gave out, how Caesar's 
own soldiers loved him not, and, being wearied 



270 

with the wars and laden with the spoils of 
Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came 
into Italy. Livia settled all things for the suc- 
cession of her son Tiberius by continually giving 
out that her husband Augustus was upon reco- 
very and amendment ; and it is an usual thing 
with the bashaws to conceal the death of the 
great Turk from the janizaries and men of war, 
to save the sacking of Constantinople, and other 
towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made 
Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Gracia, 
by giving out that the Grecians had a purpose 
to break his bridge of ships which he had made 
athwart the Hellespont. There be a thousand 
such like examples, and the more they are the 
less they need to be repeated, because a man 
meeteth with them every where : therefore let 
all wise governors have as great a watch and 
care over fames as they have of the actions and 
designs themselves. 



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